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J. Stelmack, C. Brenneman, J. Babcock-Parziale, G. Goodrich; Identifying Item Content for the 48-Item Field Test Version VA LV VFQ . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):1289.
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Purpose: This study was conducted to identify item content for a self-report questionnaire to measure the difficulty patients have performing daily activities when they enter a low vision rehabilitation program and the change in difficulty patients experience performing these activities in the community after rehabilitation. The research plan was to incorporate information on patient perception of needs with input from rehabilitation professionals on the goals addressed by rehabilitation programs and the training outcomes expected. Methods: Professional standards are delineated in discipline-specific clinical practice guidelines whereas training outcomes have been prioritized through workgroups (Babcock et al., JVIB 2000;94:307) with rehabilitation instructors. To obtain information on patient perception of needs, 149 patients presenting for low vision services at the Hines VA Blind Center, The Chicago Health Care System West Side Division VICTORS and the Skokie Satellite of the Chicago Light House participated in structured interviews. Patients were asked whether or not it was important to obtain low vision devices to perform 63 daily activities where literature review documents successful use of low vision devices. Subjects included 48 females and 101 males, mean VA .96 LogMAR, mean age 76 years. Results: Patients most frequently expressed needs for low vision devices to read small print (92%), fine print (88%), hand-written materials (88%), mail (79%), prices (79%), menus (79%), street signs (77%) and labels (77%). Viewing TV or movies (74%) and recognizing friends (73%) were also considered important. When the responses of males and females are compared, the Spearman rank coefficient describing the relationship is r= 0.6 (p <.001). When the responses were compared for 81 patients with VA 1.0 LogMAR (20/200) or less and 68 patients with VA better than 1.0 LogMAR the Spearman rank coefficient demonstrates a strong correlation of r=0.88, significant at p<.001. The need to obtain low vision devices to read small print, fine print and handwritten materials was most frequently reported for both groups. Patients with VA better than 1.0 LogMAR reported need for low vision devices for fewer tasks (40%) than those with more severe vision loss (54%). Conclusions: This study demonstrates a method of identifying item content based on structured patient interviews that offers an alternative to focus groups.
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