June 2015
Volume 56, Issue 7
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2015
Parental Adjustment to Vision Loss in Pediatric Patients
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joshua R Ehrlich
    Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
    Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Mario Zanolli
    Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
  • Rizwan Alvi
    Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
  • Steven Fox
    Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Jenina Capasso
    Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
  • George Holliday
    Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
  • Alex Cohen
    Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Barry Rovner
    Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Alex V Levin
    Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
    Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Joshua Ehrlich, None; Mario Zanolli, None; Rizwan Alvi, None; Steven Fox, None; Jenina Capasso, None; George Holliday, None; Alex Cohen, None; Barry Rovner, None; Alex Levin, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2015, Vol.56, 2095. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      Joshua R Ehrlich, Mario Zanolli, Rizwan Alvi, Steven Fox, Jenina Capasso, George Holliday, Alex Cohen, Barry Rovner, Alex V Levin; Parental Adjustment to Vision Loss in Pediatric Patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):2095.

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

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To identify characteristics and coping strategies associated with parental adjustment to low vision in their children.


Parents of patients from the Wills Eye Hospital Pediatric Ophthalmology and Ocular Genetics service were asked to complete 3 validated survey instruments and a demographic questionnaire. Parents met inclusion criteria if they: did not have severe visual impairment themselves; had only one affected child; had a child under 7 years old with a bilateral untreatable visual acuity < 20/200 in the better seeing eye but no significant systemic disability. Data from the neuroticism section of the Neuroticism-Extroversion-Openness (NEO; McCrae RR, et al. NEO Inventories: Professional Manual.) survey were correlated with parental demographics and non-parametric statistical tests were employed.


To date, data have been collected from eight parents. The median age of respondents was 31-40 years and all identified as non-Hispanic Caucasian. Parents with a college degree had significantly higher levels of neuroticism than those with lower educational attainment (Mann Whitney U; p=0.02). There was no statistically significant difference in NEO scores between employed and unemployed parents (p=0.30) or comparing those with household annual incomes above and below $75,000 (p=0.20).


Past studies have shown associations between coping, adjustment and maladaptive traits among parents with chronically ill or disabled children (Streisand R, et al. Matern Child Health J, 2010; Drews C, et al. J AAPOS, 2003). In one study, parental neuroticism was associated with poor mental health among parents of children with pediatric neurosurgical conditions (Tifferet S. Psychol Health, 2010). Our data suggest that this maladaptive trait is associated with certain baseline characteristics among parents of visually impaired children. Additional data will be collected and analyzed to further describe the relationships between neuroticism, coping and parental adjustment in this population so that targeted interventions can be developed and employed.


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