May 2007
Volume 48, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2007
Ability to Read Medication Labels Improved by Participation in Low Vision Rehabilitation Program
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • C. Kent
    Ophthalmology, California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, California
  • S. N. Markowitz
    Ophthalmology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • R. A. Schuchard
    VA Rehab R & D Center, Atlanta, Georgia
  • D. C. Fletcher
    Ophthalmology, California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, California
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships C. Kent, None; S.N. Markowitz, None; R.A. Schuchard, None; D.C. Fletcher, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support Pacific Vision Foundation
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2007, Vol.48, 3560. doi:
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      C. Kent, S. N. Markowitz, R. A. Schuchard, D. C. Fletcher; Ability to Read Medication Labels Improved by Participation in Low Vision Rehabilitation Program. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):3560.

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

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Purpose:: To compare medication label reading performance pre and post low vision rehabilitation.

Methods:: 45 low vision patients referred for rehabilitation and currently taking medications had their ability to read medicine bottle labeling evaluated pre and post rehabilitation. Medication bottles with standard labeling not being used by the patients were used for the evaluation. Patients were rated as either unable to access (0), able to access partially but not with confidence (1) or able to accurately and reliably read the printed directions (2). Low vision rehabilitation included visual function assessment, trial of vision enhancement equipment and adaptive training.

Results:: VA median/range was 20/105 and 20/64 - 20/420. Age median/range was 80/44-95. 78% had AMD, with several other diagnoses in the remainder. Number of medications being used per patient average/range was 4/1-14. At the time of initial evaluation, medication reading ability groups were 0 = 25, 1 = 27 and 2 = 0. At the time of discharge, medication reading ability groups were 0 = 1, 1 = 2, 2 = 42. The change in ratings is highly significant but the change in rating is not significantly related to age or VA. To accomplish medicine bottle reading, 42 patients required optical devices for vision enhancement at an average cost to the patient of $87.53. 2 patients required CCTVs at a cost of $1800 each. Patients received an average of 3 OT training sessions.

Conclusions:: The primary source of information available to a patient at the time of medication consumption is the prescription product label. Poor medication adherence has been associated with worsening of disease, death and increased healthcare costs. In this group of low vision patients, a significant improvement in ability to read medication labeling was observed with modest time and resource investment. This appears to demonstrate an important outcome benefit to low vision rehabilitation.

Keywords: low vision • drug toxicity/drug effects • age-related macular degeneration 

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