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Ramunas Rolius, Mona Lotfipour, Michael Langue, Ingrid U Scott; Awareness of Low Vision Services Among Retina Clinic Patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):4670.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To evaluate the demographic, medical, and psychosocial variables associated with awareness of low vision services (LVS) among retina clinic patients.
An anonymous survey including multiple choice and Likert-style questions was created on Research Electronic Data capture (REDCap) software. Patients with best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) 20/50 or worse in their better seeing eye were recruited from five retina provider clinics at an academic medical center during November and December 2016. All patients were interviewed by one of two interviewers regarding demographics, health status, awareness of and experiences with LVS. Ocular diagnoses and visual acuity were recorded. Logistic regression models will be used to identify statistically significant variables and patient LVS knowledge (p<0.05).
To date, 48 patients were interviewed, including 30 women and 18 men with a mean age of 73 years (SD=14). Thirty (63%) patients were unaware of LVS. Mean age of the patients aware and unaware of LVS was 80.3 (SD = 10.3) and 68.7 (SD = 15) years, respectively (p=0.005). The majority (89%, n=22) of patients with a primary ocular diagnosis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) were aware of LVS, while most patients with a primary ocular diagnosis of proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) (77%, n=25) were unaware of LVS. The highest level of education attained was high school in 67% (n=20) of the patients unaware of LVS, compared to higher education in 78% (n=14) of the patients aware of LVS (p<0.05). Patients with more severe vision loss were more likely to be aware of LVS (p<0.001). Of the 30 patients who reported no knowledge of LVS, 27 (90%) had a BCVA < 20/50 but >20/200. Of the 18 patients who reported knowledge of LVS, 10 (56%) had a BCVA of 20/200 or worse.
The majority of patients were unaware of LVS. Higher education level, older age, more severe vision loss, and a primary ocular diagnosis of AMD were positively correlated with awareness of LVS. Further investigation in larger study populations is warranted in order to improve awareness and utilization of LVS.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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