Hodge, Suzanne and Barr, Wally and Bowen, Louise and Leeven, Martina and Knox, Paul (2013) Exploring the role of an emotional support and counselling service for people with visual impairments. British Journal of Visual Impairment, 31 (1). pp. 5-19. ISSN 0264-6196
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There is growing evidence of the need for services to address the emotional support needs of people with visual impairments. This article presents findings from a mixed methods evaluation of an emotional support and counselling (ESaC) service delivered within an integrated low vision service, focusing primarily on the qualitative findings. Data collected using a standardised measure of psychological well-being (Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation–Outcome Measure; CORE-OM) show an improvement in the psychological well-being of clients of the service between baseline and follow-up assessment. Qualitative findings from interviews with service users and service providers help to illustrate and explain the experiences underlying the quantitative findings. The ESaC services are shown to be helpful to service users in two particular ways: helping them to normalise their experiences by talking to an impartial listener and helping them to accept and adapt to the physical, emotional and social changes in their lives resulting from their visual impairment.
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