To evaluate the impact of a facilitated peer group emotional support service on visual quality of life (VQoL).
Consecutive participants in an emotional support service delivered to groups of up to six and facilitated by trained counselors were recruited (n = 29). The VCM1 (Vision Quality-of-life Core Measure) instrument was administered to participants at the start of the service, at the end of the service, and 6 months after completion of the service.
For the group as a whole, VQoL significantly improved between the beginning of the service and the end (F1,23 = 16.43, p = 0.000) but was no better than at the start 6 months later (F1,23 = 3.60, p = 0.07). However, those with poorer initial VQoL showed significantly greater improvements after 6 months (1.74 ± 2.21 logits) than those with higher initial VQoL (−0.12 ± 0.71 logits) (t23 = 2.89, p = 0.008). The effect size of the intervention for those with poor initial VQoL was 1.10 at the end of service and 0.92 after 6 months. The items that became and remained easier were “feeling lonely or isolated due to eyesight,” “feeling sad or low due to eyesight,” and “feeling worried about general safety outside the home.”
This facilitated peer group emotional support service significantly improves VQoL as assessed with the VCM1 over at least 6 months for those with poorer initial VQoL. Different interventions may be needed for those with initially good VQoL and to improve other aspects of QoL not influenced by the service.