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Psychosocial impact of visual impairment in working-age adults
  1. S R Nyman1,
  2. M A Gosney1,2,
  3. C R Victor1
  1. 1Clinical Health Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, UK
  2. 2Elderly Care Medicine, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, Reading, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Samuel R Nyman, School of Design, Engineering & Computing, Bournemouth University, Poole House, Talbot Campus, Poole, Dorset BH12 5BB, UK; snyman{at}


Aim To review the evidence for the presence of lower levels of psychosocial well-being in working-age adults with visual impairment and for interventions to improve such levels of psychosocial well-being.

Methods Systematic review of quantitative studies published in English from 2001 to July 2008 that measured depression/mental health, anxiety, quality of life, social functioning or social support.

Results Included were 29 studies that measured one or more outcomes (N=52). Working-age adults with visual impairment were significantly more likely to report lower levels of mental health (mean difference=14.51/100), social functioning (MD=11.55/100) and quality of life. Studies regarding the prevalence of depressive symptoms produced inconsistent results but had methodological limitations.

Conclusions Future research is required into the prevalence of loneliness, anxiety and depression in adults with visual impairment, and to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions for improving psychosocial well-being such as counselling, peer support and employment programmes.

  • Middle aged
  • ophthalmology
  • psychology
  • quality of life
  • rehabilitation
  • public health

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  • Funding Thomas Pocklington Trust, 5 Castle Row, Horticultural Place, Chiswick, London W4 4JQ.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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