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L. Pearce, M. D. Crossland, G. S. Rubin; A Randomised Controlled Trial of Low Vision Device Training in a Hospital Based Low Vision Clinic. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):3637.
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Hospital based low vision services in the UK typically involve one consultation with an optometrist. We conducted a randomised controlled trial to investigate the effect of adding further low vision device training to the standard UK low vision service.
Participants were recruited from those attending their first low vision assessment (LVA). Participants completed the Massof Activity Inventory (MAI) questionnaire by telephone before their appointment. After LVA, participants were randomised to an intervention group (who received a further appointment to review device handling) or a control group (who received a well person check with a nurse). The MAI was readministered one and three months after the initial LVA. MAI data were converted to Rasch scores for goal difficulty. Difficulty using low vision devices was assessed with the Manchester Low Vision Questionnaire, part 1 (MLVQ). Both questionnaires were administered by a masked interviewer.
Ninety six participants completed the study. Both groups experienced a significant improvement in task ability following low vision intervention, (p<0.0001). There was no significant difference in improvement (p=0.80) between the group randomised to the training visit (0.76 logits) and those in the control group (0.54 logits) . The improvement observed one month following LVA was maintained at three months. There were no significant differences between groups in reported difficulty with low vision devices according to the MLVQ (p > 0.2)
Self-reported difficulty with daily visual tasks decreases following a low vision appointment. An additional visit for device handling training resulted in no further improvement. This could be due to the relatively simple nature of the devices prescribed in this clinic.
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