June 2017
Volume 58, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2017
Study of the uptake of low vision rehabilitation services: Incidence and Prevalence of Low Vision among Patients Seeking Ophthalmic Care
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Bonnielin K Swenor
    Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Judith E Goldstein
    Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Bonnielin Swenor, None; Judith Goldstein, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  Readers Digest Partners for Sight Foundation (RDPFS)
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2017, Vol.58, 2195. doi:
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      Bonnielin K Swenor, Judith E Goldstein; Study of the uptake of low vision rehabilitation services: Incidence and Prevalence of Low Vision among Patients Seeking Ophthalmic Care. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):2195.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : To determine the prevalence and incidence of low vision among patients seeking ophthalmic care and describe the demographic and clinical characteristics of these patients.

Methods : Electronic medical record (EMR) data was obtained for all patients at the Wilmer Eye Institute (East Baltimore and 8 satellite locations) with at least one visit in 2014. Low vision status at each visit was categorized as visual acuity (VA) worse than 20/40 in the better-seeing eye. Best-corrected VA was the primary variable used, and if not recorded, the better of the pinhole or habitual VA was relied upon. Prevalence and incidence estimates, as well as associated 95% confidence intervals were determined over a 12-month period. EMR data from 2013 were used to determine incident low vision status. Demographic and clinical data obtained from the EMR were used to compare the characteristics of patients with and without low vision.

Results : In 2014, a total of 104,668 patients had at least one Wilmer Eye Institute visit. Of these patients, 93,455 had VA data recorded during at least one eye appointment (89.3%). Among patients with visual acuity data, the prevalence of low vision was 10.5% (95% CI: 10.3% to 10.7%) and the incidence as 3.5% (95% CI: 3.4% to 3.7%) in 2014. Low vision patients were more likely to be older (61 vs 55 years old) and male (43% vs 41%), and less likely to be white (64% vs 70%) (p<0.001 for all comparisons) than those without low vision. The majority of low vision patients had at least one retina (28.1%), comprehensive eye (19.6%), or anterior segment (19.3%) visit over this period.

Conclusions : This data provides an estimate of the number of patients seeking eye care that may benefit from LVR services (see associated abstract for data on the number of these patients who do and do not utilize LVR services), and describes the characteristics of these patients. This information is essential for understanding the professional resources need to serve the population, as well as improving interventions aimed at getting low vision patients to utilize LVR services.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.

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