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Ellen Elsman, Mitchel Koel, Ruth Van Nispen, Ger H.M.B. van Rens; Quality of life and participation in children with visual impairment: comparisons to reference groups. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(8):3609.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate quality of life and participation in children aged 3-17 years with visual impairment (VI) compared to reference groups and between subgroups with increasing severity levels of VI.
Participants were recruited from Dutch nationwide low vision services. Parents of children aged 3-17 years (n=502) and children aged 13-17 years (n=74) completed the Child and Adolescent Scale of Participation (CASP). Both children aged 7-17 years and their parents (n=268) completed the Kidscreen-27. CASP scores of children aged 3-11 years and Kidscreen scores were compared to age and/or gender appropriate population-based samples and effect sizes (ES) were calculated. Because of lacking population-based samples for older children, CASP scores of children aged 12-17 years were compared to children with chronic conditions or disabilities. In addition, the association between severity of VI and quality of life or participation was analysed with linear regression models within the VI sample.
Children performed significantly worse on Physical Wellbeing (ES: 0.18) and Social Support & Peers (ES: 0.23), but better on the School Environment (ES: -0.36) Kidscreen subscales compared to reference groups. Similar results were found for parents (ES: 0.35, 0.13, -0.14, respectively), and they also reported worse scores on the Parents & Autonomy subscale (ES: 0.18). Children’s participation was significantly worse compared to a population-based sample (ES: 1.58), but significantly better compared to children with various chronic conditions and disabilities, both reported by parents and children themselves (ES: -1.90 and -3.06, respectively). After correcting for potential confounders, having moderate or severe VI/blindness was significantly associated with worse participation as reported by parents relative to those with no VI.
Quality of life of children with VI is affected especially regarding Physical Wellbeing and Social Support & Peers when compared to a reference population and their participation is considerably worse. Participation was more affected in children with more severe VI. These results contribute to the understanding of the impact of VI and interventions targeting physical health, social skills and participation are warranted.
This is a 2021 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
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