Keywords

posttraumatic growth, veteran, vision loss, blind rehabilitation

Abstract

Objective: Using an adaptation of Tedeschi and Calhoun’s model of posttraumatic growth (PTG), the psychosocial impact of vision impairment (VI) is contextualized and intervention targets are identified which nurse practitioners may utilize to optimize positive psychosocial outcomes, including PTG, for their veteran patients who are living with VI.

Method: Qualitative and quantitative studies were identified through MEDLINE, APA PsycINFO, and CINAHL Complete searches. Limiters included human subjects, English language, and publication through 1996 to 2022. Search terms included vision loss, visual impairment, veterans, military, soldiers, servicemen, servicewomen, posttraumatic growth, positive outcomes, and blindness rehabilitation. Additionally, books by Tedeschi and Moore (2018), Tedeschi, Shakespeare-Finch, Taku, and Calhoun (2018), and Falk and Goldberg (2018), were reviewed.

Results: VI, which is often underdiagnosed among veterans, has a high impact on daily functioning and increases the risk for anxiety, depression, and social isolation. Early diagnosis and treatment of VI are critical to mitigating its impact. A shift from the loss-focused paradigm surrounding VI, to one of growth and thriving can help nurse practitioners instill hope and facilitate positive outcomes in their veteran patients. The theoretical model proposed by Tedeschi and Calhoun offers a valuable framework within which to contextualize the impact and treatment of VI in a way that facilitates growth and thriving. In this adaptation of the model fostering positive outcomes, such as PTG, requires an interdisciplinary approach to care with the nurse practitioner acting as an “expert companion.”

Conclusions: Current evidence supports an assessment of visual function among all veteran patients as part of routine evaluation. Because of the pivotal role that VI plays in mental health, nurse practitioners should be aware of and refer patients to rehabilitative resources to mitigate the impact of VI to foster the positive outcome of PTG. Resources are available to assist nurse practitioners in identifying adjustment to blindness programs which may be helpful in the interdisciplinary care of their veteran patients living with VI.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2022-05-30

Language

English

College

Nursing

Department

Nursing

University Standing at Time of Publication

Graduate Student

Course

Scholarly Writing 631

Available for download on Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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