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How effective is the new community-based Welsh low vision service?
  1. H Court1,
  2. B Ryan1,
  3. C Bunce2,
  4. T H Margrain1
  1. 1School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  2. 2Moorfields Eye Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Helen Court, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF24 4LU, UK; waltersh1{at}


Aims To determine if there was a significant difference between user-centred and clinical outcomes in people with low vision who attended a new community-based low vision service (CLVS) or the hospital-based low vision service (HBLV).

Methods A prospective controlled before and after study. Participants were recruited from the CLVS (n=343; 96 male, 247 female; median age 82 years) and from the HLVS (n=145; 55 male, 90 female; median age 80 years). The primary outcome measure was change (baseline to 3 months) in visual disability as evaluated by the seven-item National Eye Institute-Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ). Secondary outcome measures included: use of low vision aids, satisfaction with the service provided and change in near visual acuity before and after the provision of low vision aids.

Results There were no significant differences in user-centred and clinical outcome measures between the CLVS and HLVS. Self-reported visual disability was significantly reduced after low vision service intervention for participants in both groups by 0.46 and 0.57 logits in the HLVS and CLVS, respectively.

Conclusion This study provides strong evidence that CLVS and HLVS are effective methods of service provision in Wales.

  • Visual impairment
  • questionnaire
  • visual disability
  • low vision service
  • low vision aid
  • rehabilitation

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  • Funding This project was funded by the Wales Office of Research and Development for Health and Social Care (WORD).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the All Wales Research Ethical Committee and all procedures adhered to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki.

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