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Spirituality and vision rehabilitation

Duquette, J. (2011). Spirituality and vision rehabilitation : Information monitoring summary. Longueuil : INLB. 9 pages.

Vision loss is a stressful event affecting many aspects of a person’s life. An individual who is told their vision will not improve faces both physical and psychological adjustment. Like any type of disability, visual impairment (VI) requires the person to have internal and external resources in order to adjust to their condition. One of these internal resources is spirituality.

Spirituality gives a person a sense of transcending their immediate circumstances and an intrapersonal construction of purpose and meaning for their own life, with an inner sense of connection and confidence in their own internal resources. This allows for better adjustment by helping to fill the existential void that may arise after an event that is in itself senseless, as vision loss may be. It can provide a framework for interpreting the impairment in a positive light, giving it meaning, and making it easier to accept, as well as for re-ordering priorities and adapting more successfully.

Spirituality blunts the negative effects of visual impairment and has a direct and positive effect on adjustment. It is significantly associated with most dimensions of quality of life related to vision, the greatest impact being on the person’s psychological health.

In a rehabilitation context, spirituality may take on a motivational role, encouraging the client to find a personal meaning for the experience. It can motivate the individual to achieve their rehabilitation objectives and make a connection between their beliefs, their sense of hope and their ability to transcend their immediate experience. A study has shown that spirituality is positively associated with rehabilitation outcome in VI persons as regards training in daily activities.

Many research studies have concluded or recommended that spiritual and religious aspects should be taken into account during rehabilitation, among others for visual impairment. This can be done at various levels and in different ways, from simply recognizing a person’s spiritual beliefs to formally integrating spirituality into the clinical frame of reference. And in the interests of greater efficacy and effectiveness, gauging the spirituality of clients could prove helpful in identifying the extent of their internal resources for religious well-being, so that better support can be provided to those who need it most.

Sujets : Spiritualité; Réadaptation

Type de document : Veille informationnelle

Aussi disponible en français sous le titre : Spiritualité et réadaptation en déficience visuelle

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