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Pacific University College of Optometry visual perceptual testing manual

1 May 1998


The history of the Pacific University College of Optometry (PUCO) Visual Perceptual Testing Manual dates back to 1988. Daniel Kosterman, Marcus Morben, Terry Rudensey, and Samuel Soesbe from the class of 1988 put together a manual which included a battery of visual perceptual diagnostic tests and an accompanying slide presentation. These four students hoped to provide a thorough visual perceptual diagnostic test manual which would allow fourth year optometric interns to learn how to properly perform many of the common tests used in PUCO's Vision Therapy Clinic. The goal was to standardize the administration of each test and reduce reliability/validity problems found in educational settings created by the high turnover rate of student interns. In 1996, Stacy Bell (1997) and James Kundart (1999) updated the manual with the addition of two tables. The first table illustrates which visual perceptual factors are assessed in each visual perceptual diagnostic test. The second table that Bell and Kundart created lists which visual perceptual factors can be trained with common vision therapy training instruments. These tables can be found in Appendix A and B of the PUCO Visual Perceptual Testing Manual. The latest update to the PUCO Visual Perceptual Testing Manual brings us to this foreword. Karl Bakken (1998) and Melissa Severns (1998) revised two previous tests, added nine new tests to the manual, and added new research (since 1988) that has been conducted on several of the diagnostic tests already found in the manual. Bakken and Severns also conducted a survey of practicing behavioral optometrists to determine how applicable the diagnostic perceptual tests performed at PUCO were in the "real world". Bakken and Severns believed that the practicing optometrists utilize many different perceptual diagnostic tests and wanted their input. Results and analysis of the 1997 survey as well as the original survey can be found in Appendix D, E, and F. What the manual can do. As the Pacific University College of Optometry Visual Perceptual Testing Manual has evolved over the years, so have its goals. The PUCO Visual Perceptual Testing Manual now serves three purposes. 1) The manual will be an educational tool for the students of the Pacific University College of Optometry to be used in the Evaluation and Management of Patients with Perceptual Problems course (Optometry 727). Pacific University added the course to its third year core curriculum in 1997. The addition of this course provides the students at Pacific University a strong background on the many visual perceptual tests available for practicing optometrists and will make their transition into the Vision Therapy Clinic at PUCO easier. The PUCO Visual Perceptual Testing Manual will serve as an additional textbook for the class and will provide the students with a valuable reference manual to take with them into their future practice. The Pacific University Vision Therapy Clinic benefits from better prepared student interns and hopefully more standardized test administration. 2) The manual now contains a strengthened critique and analysis of each perceptual test allowing the student intern or practicing optometrist to review the norms, test validity and test reliability. We want the readers and test administrators to be aware of how accurate the test has been at diagnosing what it claims to diagnose. We encourage critical thinking, and hope that further studies can be done on these perceptual tests to further assess their validity and reliability. 3) The manual continues to be a quick "go-to" reference for the student interns at PUCO so they may better familiarize themselves with a test prior to administration. Within an education-based clinical setting, students interns do not have the years of experience to perform a battery of perceptual tests from memory, often they need to brush-up on proper administration prior to patient contact. Pacific University's Vision Therapy Services have a limited number of administration and scoring manuals for each perceptual test. Therefore, optometric interns often must locate and study these test administration manuals on the day of the evaluation. With every student owning the PUCO manual they will be able to prepare for the administration before their day in clinic. The ultimate goal is for a more proper and standardized test administration in the vision therapy clinics at Pacific University. What the manual cannot do. The PUCO Visual Perceptual Testing Manual is not intended to replace original test manuals. Although we feel the manual is quite thorough, it by no means can replace all the information contained within the original scoring and administration manual of each test. The PUCO Visual Perceptual Testing Manual does not contain all of the age equivalent, grade equivalent, and other normative data for every test. Therefore, the clinician needs to use the official scoring and administration manual for each test. The authors of the PUCO Visual Perceptual Testing Manual encourage all students and clinicians to read the official scoring and administration manual for each diagnostic test when they purchase the test. It is in the clinician's best interest to be fully comfortable with administering and scoring the test before using it with patients. Failure to do so may result in invalid results and potentially skewed data. We believe the strength of this manual is in its simplicity and quick reference format. We feel that the "Purpose", "Indications", and "Administration" sections will allow the clinician or future vision therapist technician to brush-up on their administration skills prior to patient contact. One shortcoming we feel still exist with this manual is the thoroughness of the "Critique" sections. We would like to see more research data included in the critique sections in future revisions of this manual. We were unsuccessful in finding recent studies relating to many of the tests found within the manual. We strongly believe that more comprehensive critique sections will allow the clinician better insight into strength's and weaknesses of the tests included in this diagnostic perceptual test manual.


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