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Quality of Life of Low-Vision Patients and Outcomes of Low-Vision Rehabilitation


Optometry and Vision Science: May 2001 - Volume 78 - Issue 5 - p 335-342

Purpose. The impact of low vision on self-reported quality of life and changes after low-vision intervention are investigated.

Methods. Literature reports from 1990 to 2000 are reviewed.

Results. Low vision is associated with increased risk for depression and decreased functional status and quality of life. Decreased visual acuity, visual field loss, and occasional blurred vision are also associated with decreased quality of life. Improvements in both functional status and quality of life occur after low-vision service delivery.

Conclusions. Self-reported quality of life is a significant outcome measure for low-vision rehabilitation. Questionnaires that are more sensitive to rehabilitation services provided as well as patient needs and goals are required to facilitate development of rehabilitation plans and to compare techniques, devices, and programs. Attention should be given to measurement properties, validity, and reliability of instruments used currently and in development of new instruments.

Central Blind Rehabilitation Service, Edward Hines VA Hospital, Hines, Illinois, Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago, Illinois, and Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Joan Stelmack

Central Blind Rehabilitation Center

Edward Hines VA Hospital

Hines, Illinois 60141


© 2001 American Academy of Optometry