Symptoms and severity of visual stress in nursing students: implications for education and healthcare settings

Loew, Stephen J., Marsh, Nigel V., Rodriguez-Pérez, Celestino, Watson, Kenneth, and Jones, Graham L. (2021) Symptoms and severity of visual stress in nursing students: implications for education and healthcare settings. Journal of Psychology and Education, 16 (1). pp. 75-87.

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Abstract

Visual Stress reportedly affects 5-12% of the general population and 20-30% of people with dyslexia. Symptoms are characterized by visual discomfort and perceptual distortions when viewing lines of text, and can be exacerbated by fluorescent lighting and bright paper. In this study, nursing students reported their levels of visual discomfort while reading text on contemporary (ultra-white) paper and on beige-coloured paper, under either standard classroom-lighting (600 lux; n = 31) or reduced illumination(400 lux; n = 25). Under the standard lighting, 10(28%) of subjects reported notable levels of Visual Stress (scoring ≥15 on a visual discomfort scale of 1-30). When reading from the beige-coloured paper the group reported less discomfort across all six symptoms. These differences were statistically significant for five of the six symptoms and the total discomfort score. The results were similar but less pronounced for the group in the reduced illumination condition. This study found that Visual Stress-related reading discomfort can also affect capable readers and, moreover, that simple adjustments to lighting and/or visual media can alleviate such symptoms. The implications of these findings for organisational practice in education and healthcare settings are discussed.

El estrés visual puede afectar del 5 al 12% de la población general y del 20 al 30% de las personas con dislexia. Los síntomas se caracterizan por incomodidad visual y distorsiones de la percepción visual en la lectura, y pueden agravarse con la iluminación fluorescente y el papel brillante. En este estudio, estudiantes de enfermería expresan niveles de incomodidad visual al leer texto en papel ultrablanco y en papel de color beige, ya sea con iluminación estándar del aula (600 lux; n = 31) o con iluminación reducida (400 lux ; n = 25). Bajo la iluminación estándar, 10 (28%) de los sujetos informaron niveles notables de estrés visual (puntuación ? 15 en una escala de1 a 30). Al leer en color beige, el grupo presentó menos malestar en los síntomas. Estas diferencias fueron estadísticamente significativas para cinco síntomas y el total de malestar. Los resultados fueron menos pronunciados para el grupo en la condición de iluminación reducida. Encontrándose que la incomodidad de lectura relacionada con estrés visual también puede afectar a lectores expertos y, además, que simples ajustes a la iluminación y/o medios visuales pueden reducirla. Se discuten las implicaciones para la práctica en entornos educativos y sanitarios.

Item ID: 65455
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1699-9517
Keywords: Visual stress; reading difficulties; fluorescent lighting; ultra-white paper, excessive illumination
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Copyright Information: © 2021 Asociación Científica de Psicología y Educación (ACIPE). Publicado por Consejo General de Colegios Oficiales de Psicólogos, España. Este es un artículo. Open Access bajo la CC BY-NC-ND licencia (http://creativecommons.org/licencias/bync-nd/4.0/).
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Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2021 00:24
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520102 Educational psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920107 Hearing, Vision, Speech and Their Disorders @ 100%
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