Online Program

Patient Understanding in Low Vision: Pre and Post Examination

Monday, November 2, 2015

Karen Squier, Optometrist, Southern College of Optometry, Memphis, TN
Cherie Hemsworth, Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago, IL
Erica Gagnon, Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago, IL
Kylie Castons, Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago, IL
Background:  Patient understanding of his or her diagnosis is one of the first steps to successful vision rehabilitation (1). In addition, patient awareness of resources or self-identification of having “low vision” may also limit a patient’s choice to pursue low vision rehabilitation (2). Quality of Life Questionnaires have been administered to patients to assess the benefits of administration of low vision services and have shown an improvement (3).  This pilot study was performed to identify awareness and understanding of vision loss and resources, comparing responses before and after their exams.

Methods: A questionnaire was given to new patients in low vision clinics pre and post low vision exam in an urban setting. Questions related to understanding of diagnosis, understanding of low vision and available rehabilitation services.

Results /Outcomes: In general, patients reported an increase in understanding of their condition, an increase awareness of services and available devices and almost all participating patients would recommend someone with low vision pursue a low vision exam.

Conclusions: This pilot study demonstrates the fact that many low vision patients require further education on their condition as well as available resources for their visual impairment.  It also demonstrated that intervention with a low vision exam may help to increase patient understanding of their visual impairments as well as understanding what assistive devices and resources are available those with visual impairments.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the potential improvement patients with visual impairment achieve in understanding of their condition and vision rehabilitation resources

Keyword(s): Vision Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a residency trained low vision optometrist. I have worked in the field of low vision as an educator, clinician and novice researcher. I have also lectured at local, national and international conferences on topics related to low vision.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.