Original Research

Vision-specific and psychosocial impacts of low vision among patients with low vision at the eastern regional Low Vision Centre

Beatrice Adamptey, Kovin S. Naidoo, Pirindhavellie Govender
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 77, No 1 | a401 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v77i1.401 | © 2018 Beatrice Adamptey, Kovin S Naidoo, Pirindha Govender | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 May 2017 | Published: 18 June 2018

About the author(s)

Beatrice Adamptey, Department of Optometry, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Kovin S. Naidoo, African Vision Research Institute, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; Brien Holden Vision Institute, University of New South Wales, Australia
Pirindhavellie Govender, African Vision Research Institute, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; Brien Holden Vision Institute, University of New South Wales, Australia


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Abstract

Purpose: To determine vision-specific and psychosocial implications of low vision among patients with low vision visiting the Low Vision Centre of the Eastern Regional Hospital in Ghana.

Methodology: This was a descriptive case-control study of 41 patients with low vision and 41 patients with normal vision recruited from the Low Vision Centre of the Eastern Regional Hospital by simple random sampling. Data on vision-specific and psychosocial impacts of low vision was collected using the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire-25 (NEI VFQ-25). Biographical and clinical characteristics such as age, gender, educational status, marital status, employment and income status were gathered from consenting patients. Mann–Whitney U analysis using Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) was conducted to compare scores on vision-specific and psychosocial subscales of the NEI VFQ-25 between patients with low vision and patients with normal vision.

Results: Patients with low vision recorded the lowest score on the driving subscale (median = 8.33, IQR [interquartile range]: 8.33–41.67, n = 41, p < 0.001), as well as on distance activities (median = 35.42, IQR = 16.70–58.80). Psychosocial implications of low vision included high dependency (median = 33.33, IQR = 25.00–50.00), reduced mental health (median = 37.50, IQR = 25.00–50.00) and limitation in partaking in social activities (median = 50.00, IQR = 37.50–78.00).

Conclusion: Low vision has both vision-specific and psychosocial implications for the patients. Low vision management and services should therefore be tailored to meet these psychosocial and vision-specific needs to enable patients better accept their visual changes and to be better prepared to use their remaining vision to achieve their daily goals.

Keywords

Low vision; Quality of life; impact; psychosocial implications

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