Shingo Hashimoto* and Rumi Tanemura
Background: Interventions related to eye movement, such as optokinetic stimulus or tracking training are beneficial for patients with unilateral spatial neglect. This study aimed to investigate the influence of fixation feedback using visual and verbal cues on the neuropsychological status and self-awareness of patients with unilateral spatial neglect during searching tasks recorded with eye mark recorders.
Methods and findings: This study included 20 inpatients with right hemisphere damage who presented with left unilateral spatial neglect. The patients were randomly divided into two groups for a comparative crossover study. Each intervention period comprised of occupation therapy with or without fixation feedback, which lasted for 5 days. Between interventions, a washout period was allotted for 2 days, which eliminated the effects of the intervention period. A significant difference was observed in the treatment effect of the Behavioral Inattention Test (p=0.04) and the Catherine Bergego Scale score (p=0.01); however, no significant difference was observed in the carry-over and period effects. The limitations include that the crossover comparative studies are considered unsuitable for patients in an acute stage of disease where spontaneous recovery may occur, as in the sample used in this study. Additionally, the number of participants was limited to 20 with no assigned control group.
Conclusion: Fixation feedback using an eye mark recorder improved unilateral spatial neglect and self-awareness. Fixation feedback is an effective top-down approach to unilateral spatial neglect, which demonstrated more significant results compared to normal occupational therapy interventions. Future studies should focus on the intervention effects according to the site of damage.
Published Date: 2021-09-27; Received Date: 2021-09-03