May 2007
Volume 48, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2007
Impact of Visual Impairment on Service and Support Use by Individuals With Diabetic Retinopathy
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • G. Matthews
    University of North Texas Hlth Sci Ctr, Fort Worth, Texas
  • J. K. Schmier
    Exponent, Alexandria, Virginia
  • Z. N. Zakov
    Retina Associates of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio
  • D. W. Covert
    Alcon Research, Ltd., Fort Worth, Texas
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships G. Matthews, Alcon Research, Ltd., C; J.K. Schmier, Alcon Research, Ltd. provided grant to Exponent., F; Z.N. Zakov, Alcon Research, Ltd., C; D.W. Covert, Employee of Alcon Research, Ltd., E.
  • Footnotes
    Support Alcon Research, Ltd. VA10480
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2007, Vol.48, 175. doi:
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      G. Matthews, J. K. Schmier, Z. N. Zakov, D. W. Covert; Impact of Visual Impairment on Service and Support Use by Individuals With Diabetic Retinopathy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):175.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose:: To assess the patient-reported use of caregiving, assistive devices and services among individuals with diabetic retinopathy and evaluate the impact of visual impairment level on this use.

Methods:: Two ophthalmologists and their staff invited patients with diabetic retinopathy to complete a survey on their use of visual aids, devices and caregiving. The clinical staff provided data on best corrected visual acuity (BCVA). The study was approved by a central IRB and respondents provided consent before completing the survey. Responses were analyzed by BCVA categories based on the better eye: normal (20/15 to 20/20), near normal (20/25 to 20/30), moderate low vision (20/40 to 20/60), severe/profound low vision (20/70 or worse). De-identified data were analyzed in SAS.

Results:: Interim analysis was conducted with 491 patients. Mean age was 64 and 44% were male. Most respondents (72%) were diagnosed at least three years earlier. Respondents with normal vision comprised 17% of the population, and near normal, moderate low and severe/profound groups comprised 39%, 32%, and 11%, respectively. Few patients reported using services such as transportation or job training. In general, the use of devices such as magnifying glasses, computer software and large print materials, increased as BCVA decreased. Use of paid and unpaid help was significantly associated with BCVA; while only 8% of those with normal vision reported caregiving, 71% of those with severe/profound low vision reported caregiving (p<0.05). Using standard costs for devices and services and a national average for caregiver time, annual costs for increased from $444 for respondents with normal vision to $45,136 to those with profound/severe low vision.

Conclusions:: There are substantial differences in service and device use with decreased BCVA in patients with diabetic retinopathy.

Keywords: diabetic retinopathy 

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