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Dawn K. DeCarlo, Gerald McGwin, Jr., Karen Searcy, Liyan Gao, Cynthia Owsley; Optical Device Use Among Those With Age Related Macular Degeneration 1-Month After Receiving Prescribed Devices. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):4423.
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This study investigates the reported use of optical devices by patients with AMD following low vision evaluation and device prescription as well as psychosocial and ocular factors associated with device use.
225 patients with AMD presenting for the first time to the low vision service at 2 university-based clinics were recruited. Prior to the low vision evaluation and device prescription, they completed the NEI-VFQ 25, Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire and a general health questionnaire. The low vision evaluation included best-corrected ETDRS visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and microperimetry. Devices were provided to participants at no cost. The NEI-VFQ and a device use questionnaire were administered by phone 1-month after receiving prescribed devices.
204 participants were prescribed at least 1 device. 196 (96%) were available for follow-up at 1 month and 192 (98%) reported using a prescribed low vision device at least weekly. NEI-VFQ scores pre- and post-intervention for those using devices improved for the general vision, near activities, distance activities, and social function domains (p<0.05). Scores were unchanged for the general health, driving, color vision, mental health and dependency domains, but were worse for peripheral vision, ocular pain and role difficulties domains (p<0.05). Prescribed near devices were rated as moderately or extremely useful by 89%. Furthermore, 82% (n=127) reported using at least one device daily (frequent users) while18% (n=35) reported device use at least weekly (infrequent users). Frequent and infrequent users were similar in age, race, general health, depressive symptoms, mental status, visual acuity, scotoma location and fixation status. However, infrequent users were more likely to be male (46% vs. 29%; p=0.05). NEI-VFQ subscale scores were not statistically different for frequent vs. infrequent users, but frequent users did show larger gains (10 points vs. 6 points) on the Near Activities scale.
Most patients with AMD from 2 university-based practices report using prescribed optical devices daily and find them useful at 1 month following their vision rehabilitation appointments. Future work will look at maintenance of device usage.
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