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J R Soc Med. 1991 September; 84(9): 542–544.
PMCID: PMC1293416

Levels of visual impairment in a day centre for people with a mental handicap.


A prospective study screening for visual impairment in a day centre for people with a mental handicap showed that 30% required spectacles or registration as blind or partially-sighted and a further 20% had previously unknown pathology. Carers were not reliable in identifying visual problems in their charges, and routine screening should be encouraged. High Street optometrists should be able to measure visual acuity in the individuals in this sample excluding those cared for in special care units for whom screening may be less beneficial.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Jaeger EA. Ocular findings in Down's syndrome. Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc. 1980;78:808–845. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Woodruff ME, Cleary TE, Bader D. The prevalence of refractive and ocular anomalies among 1242 institutionalized mentally retarded persons. Am J Optom Physiol Opt. 1980 Feb;57(2):70–84. [PubMed]
  • Jacobson L. Ophthalmology in mentally retarded adults. A clinical survey. Acta Ophthalmol (Copenh) 1988 Aug;66(4):457–462. [PubMed]
  • Aitchison C, Easty DL, Jancar J. Eye abnormalities in the mentally handicapped. J Ment Defic Res. 1990 Feb;34(Pt 1):41–48. [PubMed]
  • Wilson DN, Haire A. Health care screening for people with mental handicap living in the community. BMJ. 1990 Dec 15;301(6765):1379–1381. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bader D, Woodruff ME. The effects of corrective lenses on various behaviors of mentally retarded persons. Am J Optom Physiol Opt. 1980 Jul;57(7):447–459. [PubMed]

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