AIMS—To substantiate the claim that low vision aids reduce the degree of disability associated with visual impairment.
METHODS—An observational study of vision, ocular pathology, age, sex, and reading ability in new referrals to a low vision clinic. Reading ability was assessed both with the patients' own spectacles and with an appropriate low vision aid.
RESULTS—The reading performance and biographical characteristics of new referrals to a low vision clinic were recorded. Data were collected for 168 people over a 6 month period. Upon arrival at the clinic the mean functional visual acuity equated to 6/36 and 77% of patients were unable to read newsprint (N8). After a low vision assessment and provision of a suitable low vision aid 88% of new patients were able to read N8 or smaller text.
CONCLUSIONS—The degree of visual impairment observed in new referrals to a low vision clinic is sufficient to prevent the majority from performing many daily tasks. Low vision aids are an effective means of providing visual rehabilitation, helping almost nine out of 10 patients with impaired vision to read.
AIM—To develop and test a practical visual function assessment for use in developing countries.
METHODS—Using focus group discussions and interviews with eyecare workers and low vision specialists in Malawi, 13 questions related to visual characteristics of activities of daily living were designed. Patients presenting to an eye clinic were recruited and interviewed. Visual acuity, near vision, and contrast sensitivity were measured. Analysis sought to determine the degree of correlation between the vision indices and visual function.
RESULTS—The visual function questionnaire was easy to administer. Visual function correlated with visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, near vision, and patient reported visual problem. People with a higher frequency of "not applicable" responses had lower visual function scores. Multivariate modelling revealed that visual acuity and number of questions felt to be applicable were independently associated with visual function. Reducing the questionnaire to nine questions did not affect the degree of correlation with any of the visual indices.
CONCLUSION—The authors' visual function assessment correlates well with different measures of visual acuity. People with reduced vision for a prolonged period may no longer consider doing certain tasks and the number of questions considered appropriate by an individual may be an additional measure of visual function. Assessment of visual function by health workers may be a valuable tool in improving surgical uptake by encouraging both health personnel and patients to recognise that they have difficulties undertaking activities of daily living as well as a measure of monitoring and evaluating cataract outcomes.
The purpose of our study was to evaluate the characteristics and the changes of low vision patients over ten years in Korea, and to establish useful data for planning low vision services, active care and rehabilitation. We conducted a retrospective study of 681 low vision patients who visited two low vision clinics in Seoul from 1995 to 2008. Age and sex distribution, cause of low vision, type of prescribed low vision aids, and changes of the characteristics were reviewed. In result, male were more than female. The age group between 11 and 20-yr-old (18.1%) was the largest age group. Optic atrophy (28.3%) was main causes of low vision. However, elderly low vision patients is increasing and macular degeneration is becoming a leading cause of low vision (P<0.05). One thousand five low vision aids (LVAs) were prescribed for 681 patients (1.46±0.62 aids for each patient). Near LVAs were prescribed more than distance LVAs. In most patients, the use of LVAs improved both near and distance visual function. This study is the first survey of a large number of low vision patients over a ten year period in Korea. On the base of this study, the planning of low vision services and more active rehabilitation for low vision patients, especially elderly patients, need in Korea.
Low Vision; Rehabilitation; Visual Function
AIMS--There is increasing awareness of the needs of children with low vision, particularly in developing countries where programmes of integrated education are being developed. However, appropriate low vision services are usually not available or affordable. The aims of this study were, firstly, to assess the need for spectacles and optical low vision devices in students with low vision in schools for the blind in Kenya and Uganda; secondly, to evaluate inexpensive locally produced low vision devices; and, finally, to evaluate simple methods of identifying those low vision students who could read N5 to N8 print after low vision assessment. METHODS--A total of 230 students were examined (51 school and 16 university students in Uganda and 163 students in Kenya, aged 5-22 years), 147 of whom had a visual acuity of less than 6/18 to perception of light in the better eye at presentation. After refraction seven of the 147 achieved 6/18 or better. Eighty two (58.6%) of the 140 students with low vision (corrected visual acuity in the better eye of less than 6/18 to light perception) had refractive errors of more than 2 dioptres in the better eye, and 38 (27.1%) had more than 2 dioptres of astigmatism. RESULTS--Forty six per cent of students with low vision (n = 64) could read N5-N8 print unaided or with spectacles, as could a further 33% (n = 46) with low vision devices. Low vision devices were indicated in a total of 50 students (35.7%). The locally manufactured devices could meet two thirds of the need. CONCLUSION--A corrected distance acuity of 1/60 or better had a sensitivity of 99.1% and a specificity of 56.7% in predicting the ability to discern N8 print or better. The ability to perform at least two of the three simple tests of functional vision had a sensitivity of 95.5% and a specificity of 63.3% in identifying the students able to discern N8 or better.
The aim of this work was to evaluate the role of low vision aids in improving visual performance and response in children with low vision.
Prospective clinical case series.
Materials and Methods:
This study was conducted on 50 patients that met the international criteria for a diagnosis of low vision. Their ages ranged from 5 to 15 years. Assessment of low vision included distance and near visual acuity assessment, color vision and contrast sensitivity function. Low vision aids were prescribed based on initial evaluation and the patient's visual needs. Patients were followed up for 1 year using the tests done at the initial examination and a visual function assessment questionnaire.
The duration of visual impairment ranged from 1 to 10 years, with mean duration ± SD being 4.6± 2.3299. The near visual acuities ranged from A10 to A20, with mean near acuity ± SD being A13.632 ± 3.17171. Far visual acuities ranged from 6/60 (0.06) to 6/24 (0.25), with mean far visual acuity ± SD being 0.122 ± 0.1191. All patients had impaired contrast sensitivity function as tested using the vision contrast testing system (VCTS) chart for all spatial frequencies. Distance and near vision aids were prescribed according to the visual acuity and the visual needs of every patient. All patients in the age group 5-7 years could be integrated in mainstream schools. The remaining patients that were already integrated in schools demonstrated greater independency regarding reading books and copying from blackboards.
Our study confirmed that low vision aids could play an effective role in minimizing the impact of low vision and improving the visual performance of children with low vision, leading to maximizing their social and educational integration.
Low Vision; Visual Aids; Contrast Sensitivity; Visual Acuity
To evaluate prescribed optical device use in terms of frequency and perceived usefulness among people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We also sought to determine the tasks for which they were using their prescribed low vision device.
199 patients with AMD presenting for the first time to the low vision service were recruited from a university-based clinic. Prior to the low vision evaluation and device prescription, they completed the NEI-VFQ 25, Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire and a general health questionnaire. The low vision evaluation included best-corrected ETDRS visual acuity, MNRead testing, microperimetry, prescription and dispensing of optical low vision devices. Telephone follow-up interviews were conducted about device usage 1-week, 1-month and 3-months post-intervention.
181 participants were prescribed low vision devices. 93% completed all 3 follow-up interviews. Intensive users (≥ 1hour/day) of devices were similar in demographic and visual characteristics to non-intensive users (<1 hour/day) except for habitual reading acuity and speed as well as contrast sensitivity. Overall, device use increased slightly over 3 months of follow-up. Magnifiers were reported to be moderately to extremely useful by greater than 80% of participants at all time points except the 1 month follow-up for hand magnifiers (75%). High plus spectacles were the least frequently prescribed device and rated as moderately to extremely useful by 70%, 74% and 59% at 1 week, 1 month and 3 months, respectively. Most participants used their devices for leisure reading, followed by managing bills. Very few devices (n=3, <1%)were not used at any time point.
Patients with AMD who are provided with prescribed optical low vision devices do use them and perceive them as useful, especially for leisure reading activities. High rates of usage were maintained over 3 months.
low vision; age-related macular degeneration; magnification; reading; low vision devices
AIMS--A survey was undertaken to assess the effectiveness of an integrated approach to the provision of low visual aids (LVAs) in south Devon over a 2 year follow up period. This integrated approach includes the assessment of patient needs by low vision therapists, followed by the provision of suitable LVAs, with particular emphasis on training in their use. METHODS--A total of 125 patients were selected at random from the 445 patients seen in the low vision clinic at Torbay Hospital in the year 1991. These patients were sent questionnaires relating to the service over a 2 year period. Questionnaires from 111 patients were analysed at 1 year and 75 questionnaires together with 46 clinical reassessments, after 2 years. RESULTS--Using a similar questionnaire to one used in a previous study in the UK from a unit where LVA training was not provided, not only was a higher rate of satisfaction found with the services provided, but also the LVAs dispensed were used more frequently. The majority of the LVAs provided were of the simple, inexpensive variety and wastage was very low. CONCLUSIONS--It was concluded that this integrated approach to low vision rehabilitation with emphasis on training in the use of less complex LVAs exceeds the performance of other types of service that rely on the dispensing of more complex LVAs.
To investigate abandonment rate of prescribed low vision devices for near tasks and factors associated with abandonment in a U.S. outpatient population.
A telephone survey was administered to 88 patients with low vision from four clinical sites approximately one year after examination and prescription of devices. Patients were surveyed on timing and frequency of use and reasons for abandonment of devices. The main outcome measure (abandonment) was defined as patient report of no use of prescribed device in the previous three months. Multivariate logistic regression was used to investigate significant vision and demographic factors related to abandonment.
Of 119 prescribed devices, 19% (95% CI, 12–26) had not been used within the previous three months. Mean (±SD) better eye visual acuity at examination was 0.61±0.29 logMAR and mean age was 77±17 years. Mean time between device prescription and survey was 11±3 months. Device abandonment was not associated with age (p = 0.863), time since prescription (p = 0.125), visual acuity (p = 0.804), or category of magnification device (spectacle, handheld, stand, or video) (p = 0.412). There was a significant association between documented non-central visual field loss and abandonment of magnification device (p=0.046). Repeat administration of the survey resulted in the same abandonment classification in 15 of 15 patients (100%).
Abandonment rate was similar for this outpatient population to those previously reported in the U.S. veteran inpatient population and in other countries. Patients with visual field loss may be more likely to abandon prescribed devices.
low vision rehabilitation
Training in community eye health (CEH; public health applied to ophthalmology) complements clinical ophthalmology knowledge and enhances the physician's ability to meet the needs at the individual and community level in the context of VISION 2020. The upcoming version of the ophthalmological residency curriculum that was developed by the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) includes a new, specific section on CEH. It has basic, standard, advanced and very advanced levels of goals (the last one is exclusively for fellows/master students), and provides a public health approach to the main causes of blindness and low vision. The number of individuals aged ≥60 years is increasing twice as fast as the number of ophthalmologists, and as this age group is more likely to become blind/visually impaired, accessibility to eye care in the near future might be suboptimal even in wealthier countries. In order to achieve VISION 2020 goals, it is necessary to train more ophthalmologists and other eye care workers. However, the adoption of CEH component of the ICO curriculum for ophthalmology residents will enable them to meet local needs for eye care.
Community eye health; prevention of blindness; ophthalmogical residency; VISION 2020
The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of low vision among students attending all the schools for the blind in Oyo State, Nigeria. The study set out to determine the proportion of students with low vision/severe visual impairment after best correction, to determine the causes of the low vision, to document the associated pathologies, to determine the types of treatment and visual aid devices required, and to provide the visual aids needed to the students in the schools.
Materials and Methods:
All schools students for the blind in Oyo State were evaluated between August 2007 and January 2008. All the students underwent a thorough ophthalmic examination that included measurement of visual acuity, retinoscopy and subjective refraction, tests for visual aids where indicated, and a structured questionnaire was administered.
A total of 86 students were included in the study and the mean age was 19.4 ± 8.19 years. Twenty six (30%) were under 16 years of age. The most common cause of blindness was bilateral measles keratopathy/vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in 25 students (29.1%). The most common site affected was the cornea in 25 students (29.1%), the lens in 23 (26.7%), and the retina/optic nerve in 16 (18.6%). Preventable blindness was mainly from measles keratopathy/VAD (29.1%). Eleven students benefited from refraction and correction with visual aids; two having severe visual impairment (SVI), and nine having visual impairment (VI) after correction.
The prevalence of low vision in the schools for the blind in Oyo State is 2.3%, while the prevalence of visual impairment is 10.5%. These results suggest that preventable and treatable ocular conditions are the source of significant childhood blindness in Oyo State.
Blind; Childhood Blindness; Low Vision; Measles Keratopathy; Oyo State; Vitamin A Deficiency
Background: Questionnaires are important tools used to gain information about health and level of function in different domains.
Aims and Methods: To determine the degree of agreement between questionnaires, administered to parents and teachers, and ophthalmic and psychological examinations in a cohort of 309 low birth weight children (<1701 g) at age 10–13 years.
Results: A total of 90.9% of cases showed agreement between the question on distance vision and clinical assessment, and agreement for the near vision question was 83%. However, the correlation on an individual basis was only fair (kappa = 0.46, distance vision) to poor (kappa = 0.2, near vision). The overall agreement for the questions on cognitive ability was better than the correlation, whereas the questions on reading and mathematical ability showed low agreement and low correlation.
Conclusion: Questionnaire assessment of vision and cognitive ability is more suitable for studying the outcome of a large population than for identifying deficits in individuals.
Examined cognitive appraisals of interference and tolerance in the prediction of distress and self-reported disability among persons presenting for low vision rehabilitation.
Cross-sectional; correlational and path analyses.
One-hundred and thirteen patients (mean age, 71 years; 52 men and 61 women) presenting for low vision rehabilitation at a university-based center for low vision rehabilitation participated in an initial clinical vision examination and completed several questionnaires to evaluate cognitive appraisals, emotional distress, and self-reported disability.
Path analyses indicated that greater tolerance was associated with less interference imposed by vision loss. Greater tolerance was also associated with less emotional distress, and symptom severity (visual acuity) was associated with self-reported disability. Cognitive appraisals (tolerance and interference) indirectly influenced self-reported disability through emotional distress.
The data indicate that appraisals of personal ability to tolerate vision loss and the perceived interference of vision loss on goal-directed behavior and expected activities have greater influence on distress and are subsequently predictive of disability in comparison to objective symptoms (visual acuity). Implications for clinical interventions and further research are discussed.
To evaluate a low vision rehabilitation service implemented for heterogeneously diverse group of Egyptianpatients with vision loss in terms of improving their visual performance and fulfilling their visual needs.
Fifty patients with low vision were included in a prospective study. History taking, ophthalmic examinationand evaluation of the visual functions were performed for all patients. The required magnification was calculated, andsubsequently a low vision aid was chosen after counseling with patients. Low vision aids were tried in office, followedby a period of training before patients received their own low vision aids. Follow up was done for 6 months.
All patients who were referred to the low vision unit were not satisfied with their current spectacles or lowvision aids. After training and prescription of suitable LVAs, the improvement in distance and near visual acuity wasstatistically significant (p<0.001). Fifty-six per cent of the patients (n=28) showed improvement in distance visualacuity of 5 lines or more, and 57% of the patients (n=27) could discern N8 print size or better. The most commonlyused aids were high powered near adds. Despite the complaints about the appearance and use of LVAs, 76% of thepatients reported being moderately to highly-satisfied with their aids.
The significant improvement in the visual performance of patients with low vision after the prescriptionand training on the use of LVAs, associated with patients' satisfaction, confirms the importance of expanding lowvision rehabilitative services and increasing the public awareness of its existence and benefits.
Low Vision aids; Visual Impairment; Visual Rehabilitation
To determine the relationship between refractive error as measured by autorefraction and that measured by trial frame refraction among a sample of adults with vision impairment seen in a university-based low-vision clinic and to determine if autorefraction might be a suitable replacement for trial frame refraction.
A retrospective chart review of all new patients 19 years or older seen over an 18-month period was conducted and the following data collected: age, sex, primary ocular diagnosis, entering distance visual acuity, habitual correction, trial frame refraction, autorefraction, and distance visual acuity measured after trial frame refraction. Trial frame refraction and autorefraction were compared using paired t-tests, intraclass correlations, and Bland-Altman plots.
Final analyses included 440 patients for whom both trial frame refraction and autorefraction data were available for the better eye. Participants were mostly female (59%) with a mean age of 68 years (SD = 20). Age-related macular degeneration was the most common etiology for vision impairment (44%). Values for autorefraction and trial frame refraction were statistically different, but highly correlated for the spherical equivalent power (r = 0.92), the cylinder power (r = 0.80) and overall blurring strength (0.89). Although the values of the cross-cylinders J0 and J45 were similar, they were poorly correlated (0.08 and 0.15, respectively). The range of differences in spherical equivalent power was large (−8.6 to 4.9).
Autorefraction is highly correlated with trial frame refraction. Differences are sometimes substantial, making autorefraction an unsuitable substitute for trial frame refraction.
Trial frame refraction and autorefraction are highly correlated for patients with vision impairment attending a low-vision clinic; however, approximately 5% of values differ by 2 diopters or more. Therefore, autorefraction should not be substituted for trial frame refraction in this population.
Aim: To assess the validity of the time trade-off (TTO) and standard reference gamble (SRG) techniques of utility assessment in patients with retinal disease. A cross section of eligible patients was studied and validity was determined through their relation with two logical constructs, visual acuity and scores from the Visual Function 14 (VF-14) index.
Methods: The study consisted of eligible patients presenting to a tertiary retinal facility who completed an interview. All patients had best corrected vision of 20/40 or worse in at least one eye. TTO and SRG utilities, as well as a VF-14 questionnaire, were administered through a standardised interview. Demographic and clinical (including Snellen visual acuity) information was also collected.
Results: 323 patients met these study criteria. Significant predictors of TTO utilities in the multivariate analysis were vision in the better seeing eye (p<0.01) and VF-14 scores (p<0.01). Significant predictors of standard gamble utilities were also vision in the better seeing eye (p<0.01) and VF-14 scores (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Both the standard gamble and TTO methods demonstrate strong validity when evaluated against visual acuity in the better seeing eye and the VF-14 score.
validity; utilities; time trade-off; standard gamble; VF-14
Low vision devices in the past have been mainly extraocular. There are now four new devices in different stages of development and implementation that are currently available. Three of them, the Implantable Miniature Telescope (IMT, VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Saratoga, CA), Intraocular Lens for Visually Impaired People (IOL-VIP, IOL-VIP System, Soleko, Pontecorvo, Italy), and Lipschitz Mirror Implant (LMI, Optolight Vision Technology, Herzlia, Israel) are implanted into the anterior segment while the Argus II (Second Sight Medical Products, Sylmar, CA) is implanted into the posterior segment. The goal of these devices is to increase the patient quality of life which has been measured by Visual Functioning Questionnaire (VFQ) scales. The IMT is the only device that has been shown to increase the VFQ score by seven points at 6 months compared to baseline. It is the only FDA-approved device in the US while the Argus has been approved in Europe. Each of these prosthetics has potential benefits for patients.
IMT; IOL-VIP; LMI; Argus II
Cardiac catheterization may cause retinal embolization, a risk factor for cerebrovascular emboli and stroke. We describe the incidence of clinically silent and apparent retinal emboli following diagnostic and interventional coronary catheterization and associated risk factors.
Three hundred selected patients attending a tertiary referral center for diagnostic and therapeutic cardiac catheterization were studied. Retinal examination and examination of the visual field and acuity were done before and after catheterization by a retinal specialist.
There were 5 case of retinal embolus before catheterization, and 19 patients (incidence 6.3%) developed new retinal arteriolar emboli after catheterization. Only 1 patient developed clinically apparent changes in vision. Two conventional risk factors (age and hypertension) were significantly associated with new retinal emboli. The risk of retinal emboli was also significantly associated with operator expertise.
Retinal embolism was found after coronary catheterization in 6.3% of our patients. This finding indicates that the retinal, and possibly the cerebral circulation, may be compromised more frequently than is clinically apparent as a complication of coronary catheterization. Age and hypertension are independent predictors of retinal embolism.
Vision screening was performed in over 11 000 16-year-olds who were taking part in the National Child Development Study. For distance vision 75% had normal acuity, 9% a minor defect, and 16% a more severe unilateral or bilateral defect. For near vision 85% had normal vision, 8% a minor defect, and 7% a unilateral or bilateral defect. Few children (62) with normal distant vision had defects in near vision, though many more (607) had both poor distant vision and poor near vision. Vision defects were more common in girls than in boys and occurred more often in adolescents from non-manual than manual families. Athough 18% of children had been prescribed glasses for current use, a third did not have their glasses available at the examination: 27% of the children prescribed glasses had normal unaided distant visual acuity or only a minor defect, and they constituted 42% of those who were not wearing their glasses. Further investigation is needed into the criteria on which glasses are prescribed for children and into the reasons for which they are not worn.
We report a prevalence study of the best visual acuity in the affected eye of 100 selected patients with herpetic keratitis seen during a two-year period. Sixty-two patients retained an acuity of 6/9 or better without requiring penetrating keratoplasty (PK). The prevalence of reduced visual acuity severe enough to warrant PK was 33%. Patients requiring PK for whom full clinical records were available suffered a mean of 6.8 episodes of keratitis. In this group of patients the vision of 18 fell from 6/6 to 6/60 over a mean period of 8.5 years. Once visual acuity was permanently reduced to 6/12, 78% of patients proceeded to lose vision to 6/60. Unilateral visual impairment occurs in at least a third of patients with severe herpetic keratitis. Once vision falls permanently to 6/12, the long-term prognosis for vision appears to be poor.
Vision loss typically affects either the wide peripheral vision (important for mobility), or central vision (important for seeing details). Traditional optical visual aids usually recover the lost visual function, but at a high cost for the remaining visual function. We have developed a novel concept of vision-multiplexing using augmented vision head-mounted display systems to address vision loss. Two applications are discussed in this paper. In the first, minified edge images from a head-mounted video camera are presented on a see-through display providing visual field expansion for people with peripheral vision loss, while still enabling the full resolution of the residual central vision to be maintained. The concept has been applied in daytime and nighttime devices. A series of studies suggested that the system could help with visual search, obstacle avoidance, and nighttime mobility. Subjects were positive in their ratings of device cosmetics and ergonomics. The second application is for people with central vision loss. Using an on-axis aligned camera and display system, central visibility is enhanced with 1:1 scale edge images, while still enabling the wide field of the unimpaired peripheral vision to be maintained. The registration error of the system was found to be low in laboratory testing.
Head-mounted display; multiplexing; tunnel vision; central vision loss; night blindness
Sixty-four eyes of 57 elderly patients with pigment epithelial detachments (PEDs) were studied with the aim of describing their morphological features and identifying prognostic factors. They were classified into four groups according to the following characteristics: early fluorescence, late fluorescence, shallow detachment with limited fluorescence ('drusen type'), irregular fluorescence. The following conclusions were drawn: 30% developed demonstrable subretinal new vessels; all groups except the drusen type were susceptible, the irregular group being particularly prone. 10% developed retinal pigment epithelial tears, and these occurred almost exclusively in the slow fluorescent group. Flattening of PEDs was a feature of drusen type and early fluorescent groups. Most patients lost vision. RPE tears occurred within a few months of presentation with immediate loss of vision; likewise rapid loss of vision followed the development of demonstrable new vessels, though not necessarily in those with changes thought to imply the presence of new vessels. Flattening after prolonged detachment was associated with pigment epithelial atrophy and invariable loss of vision. Visual acuity was maintained consistently only in those eyes with persistent detachment.
To adapt the low vision-related quality of life (LVQOL) instrument into Turkish language and to assess its validity and reliability.
The study was conducted in 387 patients attending the Centre of Low Vision Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Ankara University. For statistical analyses, the Spearman's correlation coefficient, Cronbach's alpha coefficient and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) were used.
According to results of CFA, the item in the “Adjustment” subscale because of having the factor loading below 0.40, was excluded from the questionnaire. The reliability of the questionnaire was assessed according to Cronbach's alpha coefficients. The reliability of the “Distance Vision, Mobility, and Lighting” subscale was α=0.863; of the “Adjustment” subscale wasα=0.694; “Reading and Fine Work” wasα=0.791, and “Activities of Daily Living” was α=0.770. So these results indicate that the questionnaire is reliable to measure the vision related quality of life of low-vision patients. The correlations between the subscales were also analyzed, and the correlation between “Adjustment” and “Reading and Fine Work” was found to be the lowest (rs=0.336, P<0.001), whereas the strongest correlation was found between the “Reading and Fine Work”, and “Activities of Daily Living”. Additionally, the “Adjustment” dimension showed the strongest correlation with only “Distance Vision, Mobility, and Lighting” dimension.
After removing the last item in the second dimension, the Turkish adaptation of all dimensions of the LVQOL has been shown to be reliable, valid and suitable for use in patients with low vision in Turkey.
low vision-related quality of life; Turkish version; low vision rehabilitation
BACKGROUND/AIMS—Out of an estimated 90 000 visually impaired people in Scotland, 509 make use of a guide dog. Initial research in Northern Ireland suggests that the ophthalmic profile of guide dog owners (GDOs) is highly specific. The aim of this study was to compare the ophthalmic and visual characteristics of Scottish GDOs with other groups of visually impaired people.
METHODS—A random sample of GDOs from central and northern Scotland (n=82) underwent a detailed assessment of residual vision (distance and near acuity, visual fields, contrast, and glare sensitivity). Comparative data were obtained from two populations of visually impaired non-GDOs—one group attending hospital ophthalmic and low vision clinics (n=50) the other social services rehabilitation clients (n=35). All participants completed a questionnaire to elicit ophthalmic history, age, and registration details.
RESULTS—GDOs were found to be significantly younger and more profoundly visually impaired than non-GDOs. The main causes of visual impairment were retinitis pigmentosa (23%), optic atrophy (15%), and retinopathy of prematurity (7%). Ninety nine per cent of GDOs were registered blind and had been visually impaired for an average of 39 years. Only 31% were totally blind.
CONCLUSION—GDOs represent a unique minority of the visually impaired population. Epidemiological registration trends would suggest that the numbers of young profoundly visually impaired people are unlikely to increase relative to their elderly counterparts. This has implications on the future demand for guide dog ownership.
Keywords: ophthalmic profile; visual profile; guide dog owners; Scotland
To determine the validity and reliability of a novel questionnaire to measure vision related quality of life (VRQOL) in children 8–18 years old for use in juvenile idiopathic arthritis-associated uveitis (JIA-U) –Effects of Youngsters’ Eyesight on Quality of Life (EYE-Q).
Several steps validated the EYE-Q. We interviewed experts and children on how vision affects a child’s activities. We developed new items and selected relevant items from existing instruments. We administered initial versions of the EYE-Q to normal-sighted children and those with JIA-U. For this study, children with various (or no) ocular conditions were recruited from a clinical population. Visual acuity (VA) and contrast sensitivity were performed, and the EYE-Q and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) were administered. The EYE-Q was repeated 10 days later. Patients, parents and physicians rated vision severity.
Of 120 patients, 48% were female, 46.7% had no visual impairment (VI), and 52% had bilateral eye involvement. Mean age was 11.3 years. There were significant differences in the measures based on VA (p<0.001). Children with more severe VA and bilateral eye involvement had worse EYE-Q scores (p<0.001). There were significant associations between the EYE-Q and PedsQL (r = 0.375), repeat EYE-Q (r = 0.864), and clinical measures of ocular disease (r = −0.620).
Our study provides evidence of the validity and reliability of the EYE-Q in the measurement of VRQOL. The EYE-Q may complement clinical measures of VI and overall QOL and become an important tool in the assessment of QOL in JIA-U.
Dual sensory loss (DSL) has a negative impact on health and wellbeing and its prevalence is expected to increase due to demographic aging. However, specialized care or rehabilitation programs for DSL are scarce. Until now, low vision rehabilitation does not sufficiently target concurrent impairments in vision and hearing. This study aims to 1) develop a DSL protocol (for occupational therapists working in low vision rehabilitation) which focuses on optimal use of the senses and teaches DSL patients and their communication partners to use effective communication strategies, and 2) describe the multicenter parallel randomized controlled trial (RCT) designed to test the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the DSL protocol.
To develop a DSL protocol, literature was reviewed and content was discussed with professionals in eye/ear care (interviews/focus groups) and DSL patients (interviews). A pilot study was conducted to test and confirm the DSL protocol. In addition, a two-armed international multi-center RCT will evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the DSL protocol compared to waiting list controls, in 124 patients in low vision rehabilitation centers in the Netherlands and Belgium.
This study provides a treatment protocol for rehabilitation of DSL within low vision rehabilitation, which aims to be a valuable addition to the general low vision rehabilitation care.
Netherlands Trial Register (NTR) identifier: NTR2843
Dual sensory loss; Visual impairment; Hearing loss; Elderly; Low vision rehabilitation; Hearing aids; Communication; Intervention; RCT