Targets for rehabilitation: An evidence base for adaptive coping with visual disability

Kathrin Boerner, Shu Wen Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study examined the role of assimilative and accommodative coping dimensions for the mental health of people with visual impairment, with the aim of informing rehabilitation planning. Research Method: Telephone interviews were conducted with 216 middle-aged adults with vision loss. Assimilative and accommodative coping were assessed both in terms of general coping tendencies and goal-specific coping. Results: Assimilation was used more than accommodation in goal-specific coping. In contrast, endorsement levels of general coping tendencies were higher for accommodative compared with assimilative coping. The strongest beneficial effects on mental health emerged for accommodative coping as a general coping tendency and assimilative coping as a goal-specific strategy. Conclusions: Results suggest that vision rehabilitation programs should encourage accommodative coping as a general life approach. However, for specific goals, rehabilitation should help individuals determine their feasibility, and focus on developing assimilative strategies for feasible goals, while reevaluating and letting go of unfeasible goals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-327
Number of pages8
JournalRehabilitation Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2012


  • Coping
  • Disability
  • Functional impairment
  • Midlife
  • Vision loss


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