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I. Langeggen, H. K. Falkenberg; Impaired Vision Among Elderly Living in a Nursing Home in Norway. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):4118. doi: https://doi.org/.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The Norwegian health care act requires all nursing homes to provide health care, including visual care, to their residents. We wanted to evaluate the visual status of residents at Eikertun nursing home in Norway.
Habitual distance and near logMAR visual acuity, near log contrast sensitivity (MARS test), refractive error, and reading speed was tested in 25 residents (aged 72-100 years) who participated with informed consent. A questionnaire was used to assess the residents own experience of visual function at distance and near, and visual orientation within and outside of the nursing home. All measurements were performed by an optometrist.
The visual status of the residents in Eikertun nursing home is poor. Mean habitual visual acuities were 0,64 +/- 0,19 OD and 0,63 +/-0,27 OS which improved to 0,50 +/-0,2 OD and 0,52 +/- 0,2 OS (paired t-test; OD p<0,05, OS p<0.08)). Even after refraction are 17 of the residents close to WHOs definition of low vision.19 residents reported problems with reading newspapers. Habitual near visual acuities were 0,78 +/- 0,12 OD, 0,73 +/-0,15 OS . 3 residents reported to use a magnifier to perform near tasks. Near contrast sensitivity are also impaired (1,04 +/- 0,2 OD, 1,06 +/-0,1 OS) compared to visually healthy adults above age 60 years (log CS 1,68). Reading speeds were also poor and only 7 completed the test.Neither of the residents reported difficulty in recognizing faces or orienting themselves in familiar surroundings, however everybody was guided by staff to and from the consulting room. All residents but two, were given new glasses and 5were referred to an ophthalmologist and the in-house general practitioner and staff were notified of the findings.
Visual status among residents in Eikertun nursing home may be improved by new spectacles and visual aids. The finding that most of the residents showed improved function with new glasses underscores the importance of regular eye care services, and that it is necessary for nursing homes to find good routines for providing this service. In addition there is a need for information about impaired vision among nursing home staff to improve the life quality of nursing home residents.
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