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Counselling for people with sight loss in the UK: the need for provision and the need for evidence
  1. Samuel Robert Nyman1,
  2. Margot Ann Gosney2,
  3. Christina Rita Victor1
  1. 1School of Health and Social Care, University of Reading, Reading, UK
  2. 2Institute of Health Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Samuel R Nyman, School of Health and Social Care, University of Reading, Bulmershe Court, Reading RG6 1HY, UK; s.r.nyman{at}reading.ac.uk

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For adults of any age the diagnosis of a visual impairment can be traumatic, and timely referral to informal peer support and/or professional counselling may be both beneficial and appropriate. It is estimated that 45/113 (40%) of UK voluntary organisations for people with sight loss provide professional counselling (n=17) or ‘informal support’ (n=28), such as peer support groups, telephone helplines and befriending.1 However, what is the evidence that these services help people adjust emotionally to their acquired vision loss and the consequences that flow from this?

During the spring/summer of 2008, we conducted a follow-up to the scoping survey reported earlier1 to assess the evidence for effectiveness of professional counselling services for people with acquired sight loss. We contacted the 17 counselling services previously identified by Rees1 and further services via Vision 2020 UK, …

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