Author: Sa, Kai Bong
Title: Oculomotor training improves reading eye movement
Degree: DHSc
Year: 2017
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Eye -- Movements
Visual training
Department: Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
Pages: xiv, 141 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Reading is one of the integral elements for learning and poor readers were reported to have less efficient reading eye movements. They were typically characterized by having higher number in fixation and regression, reduced reading speed and perceptual span. The purpose of this study was to investigate if vision therapy which limited to training of oculomotor skills can improve reading eye movement. This was a randomized, prospective study. 30 subjects aged between 8 to 9 years old with reading difficulties and reading eye movement problems were recruited. They all have normal intelligence and ocular health, but failed to meet the Taylor reading eye movement norms when tested with the Visagraph III. The subjects were randomly assigned into either the treatment group (15) or the control group (15). The treatment group had to go through a course of oculomotor vision therapy and the control group was given placebo exercises. Vision therapy for the treatment group involved 8 weeks of training (office training - 3 times a week, 30 min per session; home training - 4 times a week, 30 min per session). Office training involved the use of Vis-Flex (Visual Flexibility Trainer - an electronic device with LED lights which can display various flashing patterns at variable speeds). Home training involved several saccadic eye movement exercises. Subjects and parents were also asked to grade the reading symptoms checklist before and after the training.
The pre- and post- training data measured with the Visagraph III were statistically compared (pre- and post- training) using paired t-test. The control group showed no significant difference in the within subjects (pre-post training) measurement. Whereas, the treatment group revealed significant improvement (P<0.005) in the fixation and regression numbers, and also the span of recognition. The mean fixation number reduced from 189.1 (SD=13.6) to 147.7 (SD=13.2) (per 100 words) indicating an improvement of 22%, and the mean regression number reduced from 56.1(SD=10.7) to 14.3(SD=8.5) (per 100 words) indicating an improvement of 75%. Reading rate and comprehension revealed less significant improvement (which both factors are more related to the level of difficulty of the text and subjects' linguistic ability). There was a reduction of symptoms by 50% for the treatment group. Reduction in the fixation and regression numbers during reading indicated a more accurate and enhanced system in saccadic eye movement which less re-fixation is required. It is clear that oculomotor training alone can improve reading eye movement, especially in the efficiency and accuracy of the visual fixation during reading and the reduction of subjective symptoms. Reading as a whole involved more than just eye movements and vision training alone cannot fully rectify reading problems. However, results from this study suggested oculomotor training is beneficial and that it should be incorporated in the management of individuals with reading difficulties.

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/9287