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The efficacy of low vision device training in a hospital-based low vision clinic


Background/aims Hospital-based low vision services in the UK typically involve one consultation with an optometrist. In this study we investigated the effect of adding further low vision device training.

Methods Participants were recruited from those attending their first low vision assessment (LVA). Participants completed the Mass of Activity Inventory (MAI) questionnaire by telephone before their appointment. After LVA, participants were randomised to an intervention group (who received a further appointment to review device handling) or a control group. The MAI was readministered 1 and 3 months after the initial LVA. MAI data were converted to Rasch scores for goal difficulty.

Results Ninety-six participants completed the study. Both groups experienced a significant improvement in goal difficulty following low vision intervention (p<0.0001), equivalent to a visual acuity improvement of approximately 0.55 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR). There was no significant difference in improvement between the group randomised to the training visit and those in the control arm (p=0.80).

Conclusion Self-perceived difficulty with daily visual tasks decreases following a low vision appointment. An additional visit for device handling training resulted in no further improvement. This could be due to the relatively simple nature of the devices prescribed in this clinic.

Trial registration number ISRCTN05434212.

  • Low vision
  • visual rehabilitation
  • quality of life
  • clinical trial
  • low vision aid
  • rehabilitation

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