To objectively evaluate the changes in vision-specific quality of life (QoL) after multidisciplinary low-vision rehabilitation at the Royal Society for the Blind Low-Vision Clinic.
The standard care model at the Royal Society for the Blind Low-Vision Clinic is optical management at the initial assessment, with subsequent referral to multidisciplinary services as required. Participants completed the Impact of Vision Impairment Questionnaire (IVI) and Veterans Affairs Low-Vision Visual Functioning Questionnaire (VA LV VFQ-48) before initial assessment, at 30 days (to assess the outcome of optical management) and at 3 months follow-up (to assess the outcome of multidisciplinary services).
Seventy-one participants completed the study. Using the VA LV VFQ-48, an improvement (p < 0.05) was seen at 30 days follow-up in overall visual ability, and the reading, visual information, and visual motor subscores. However, at 3 months follow-up, all subscores were not significantly different from pre-rehabilitation levels. In contrast, for the IVI, there was no improvement in both the overall score and the mobility subscale at 30 days follow-up, but a significant improvement at 3 months follow-up. Greater improvements in visual function were seen for those with low vision (<20/60–20/200) compared with those with blindness, those aged >85 years compared with those aged 80 to 85 and <80 years, and those without glaucoma (visual motor subscore).
The VA LV VFQ-48 and IVI demonstrated improvements in QoL after low-vision rehabilitation. The timing of the observed changes varied between the two questionnaires, reflecting the different content of these instruments and the timing of delivery of multidisciplinary services, but also suggests that continued rehabilitation may be warranted to maintain a patient's QoL.