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R. K. Chadha, J. Steen, A. Subramanian; Evaluation of the Effect of Visual Impairment on Quality of Life of Children Aged 3-16. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):3766.
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of visual impairment (VI) on Quality of Life (QOL) of children aged 3-16 using the Low Vision Quality of Life Questionnaire, (LVQOL) (maximum score = 125).This is the first study, to the authors’ knowledge, that contains a control arm for children with visual impairment.
The study was divided into 2 arms; arm 1 compared QOL in children (n = 7, mean age 6.50 ± 4.41 years) pre and then post low vision aid assessment. Arm 2 compared QOL in children deemed to be visually rehabilitated (n = 24, mean age 10.13 ± 2.89 years) to that of age matched controls (n = 24, mean age 9.83 ± 2.81 years). In addition, data from the visually rehabilitated group was used to look for any demographic or visual factors that could be used as correlates or predictors of QOL.
Total QOL scores pre and post low vision aid assessment were not statistically different (88.09 ± 18.25 vs. 85.25 ± 14.77 P = 0.520). Children deemed to be visually rehabilitated had statistically lower total QOL scores than age matched controls (80.50 ± 25.21 vs. 116.00 ± 12.68 P < 0.001). Total QOL scores in children with VI were correlated with distance visual acuity (P = 0.014) and near visual acuity (P = 0.018). 20% of the variance in QOL could be predicted by these variables.
With the drive towards inclusive education for all children in the UK, where children with VI are assessed alongside normally sighted peers, consideration of the effects of this reduced QOL must be made.There is a need for further research to establish the causes for the reduced QOL in visually rehabilitated children such that future services and care packages can be tailored to meet individual needs and requirements and therefore reduce the disparity in theoutcomes of rehabilitation programmes.
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