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N. A. Manastersky, W. M. Jay; Effect of Peer Pressure on the Use of Low Vision Devices in Visually Impaired Children and Adolescents. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):3639.
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To investigate effect of peer pressure on low vision device usage at school in the visually impaired.
23 patients (14 males, 9 females) between the ages of 6-17 were studied. All patients were provided with at least one pair of spectacle lenses and at least one other low vision aid including magnifiers and telescopes. A questionnaire was completed by all patients over the telephone regarding the use of low vision devices while at school, and concern with self-image and the effects of peer pressure on the use of low vision devices. IRB-approved verbal consent was obtained from both the patients and their parents .
Of the 23 participants, 19 (83%) reported wearing glasses several hours a day or more, 1 (4%) one hour a day, 1 (4%) once a week, and 2 (9%) never. When asked about the use of any optical devices at school, 12 of 14 males (86%) and 4 of 9 females (45%) reported using devices at least once a day, 2 males (14%) and 2 females (22%) reported using devices once a week, 0 males (0%) and 3 females (33%) reported using devices once a month or less. Only 4 of 14 males (29%) and 2 of 9 females (22%) reported using all of their optical devices while at school. Reasons for not using devices included not finding the device(s) to be helpful (46% of males, 45% of females), being embarrassed about using the devices or being teased (39% of males, 45% of females), or lost/broken devices (15% of males, 11% of females). When asked how often they felt embarrassed or were teased about using low vision devices, 0 of 14 males (0%) and 0 of 9 females (0%) reported several times a week, 2 of 14 males (14%) and 3 of 9 females (33%) reported once a week, 3 of 14 males (21%) and 4 of 9 females (44%) reported once a month, 7 of 14 males (50%) and 1 of 9 females (11%) reported less than once a month, 2 of 14 males (14%) and 1 of 9 females (11%) reported never.
Peer pressure has a negative influence on the frequency of low vision device use in visually impaired children and adolescents, particularly females. Taking this into consideration, low vision eye care providers may change their devices prescribed and/or change the process of patient and parent education regarding the use of devices. Peer education regarding the use and purpose of devices may also be helpful.
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