Article Text

How to help children with neurodevelopmental and visual problems: a scoping review
  1. C Williams1,2,
  2. K Northstone1,
  3. C Borwick1,3,
  4. M Gainsborough4,
  5. J Roe5,
  6. S Howard4,
  7. S Rogers5,
  8. J Amos4,
  9. J M Woodhouse3
  1. 1School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, Somerset, UK
  2. 2University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol, Somerset, UK
  3. 3Cardiff School of Optometry and Vision Science, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  4. 4Community Child Health Partnership, North Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol, Somerset, UK
  5. 5Children and Young People's Services, Bristol City Government, Bristol, Somerset, UK
  1. Correspondence to Cathy Williams, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Oakfield House, Oakfield Grove, Clifton, Bristol, Somerset BS8 2BN, UK; cathy.williams{at}


Children with visual impairment and a condition affecting their neurodevelopment (children with VND) may require extensive and specialised help but evidence on the most effective strategies for visual improvement is lacking. We defined a PICO format (Population, Intervention, Comparator, Outcome) for a scoping review and systematically searched 13 databases. Two reviewers assessed the abstracts for inclusion and a third arbitrated in cases of disagreement. We abstracted data from included studies. We found 4450 abstracts from which we identified 107 papers for inclusion. Of these, 42 related to interventions involving a change in visual input or function: 5 controlled trials, 8 before and after studies and 29 case reports. The strongest evidence supported the provision of spectacles to improve distance or near vision and the use of ultraviolet light as environmental modification for training. Less strong but suggestive evidence supported training/practice routines to improve acuity or oculomotor control. Interventions exist to help children with VND and current recommendations that they are assessed by a vision specialist are supported by the evidence. More information is needed on the effectiveness of training/practice programmes which may promote improved function, and of environmental modifications to facilitate engagement of children with VND with the surroundings.

  • Child health (paediatrics)
  • Vision
  • Treatment other
  • Treatment Medical
  • Treatment Surgery

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