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A. Mwilambwe, W. Wittich, E. Freeman; Disparities in Knowledge and Use of Low Vision Rehabilitation. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):3207.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The goal was to describe the demographic, visual, health, and psychological variables associated with knowledge and use of low vision rehabilitation services in Montreal, Quebec.
The data reported here are derived from the Montreal Barriers Study. 448 patients with best-corrected visual acuity worse than 20/70 in their better eye were recruited from 4 ophthalmology departments. The patients answered questions about their knowledge and use of low vision services. Visual acuity was recorded and patients answered the Brief Cope and Center for Epidemiologic Studies - Depression Scale questionnaires. Patients also provided information on demographics and health status. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify independent predictors of knowledge and use of low vision rehabilitation services.
A majority of patients in the sample (71%) said that they had heard of low vision rehabilitation. Of those who had heard, 81% reported participating in low vision rehabilitation. Black patients, those whose first language was French, those with less severe visual acuity loss, and those who reported less acceptance on the Brief Cope questionnaire were less likely to know about low vision services (p<0.05). Of those who knew about low vision services, those with less severe visual acuity loss were less likely to have participated in low vision services (p<0.05).
It is important that all those who qualify for low vision rehabilitation services can access them. Although the patients in this Montreal area study showed a high rate of knowledge and use of low vision rehabilitation, knowledge and use could be improved in certain demographic populations and in those with less severe vision loss.
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