The association of multiple visual impairments with self-reported visual disability: SEE project

G. S. Rubin*, K. Bandeen-Roche, Guan-Hua Huang, B. Muñoz, O. D. Schein, L. P. Fried, S. K. West

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

208 Scopus citations

Abstract

PURPOSE. This report examines the relationship between psychophysical measures of visual impairment and self-reported difficulty with everyday visual tasks in a population-based sample of individuals 65 years of age and older. METHODS. Community-dwelling residents (n = 2520) of Salisbury. MD, between the ages of 65 and 84 were recruited for the study. Visual acuity under normal and low luminance, contrast and glare sensitivity, stereoacuity, and visual fields were measured. Subjective physical disability was assessed with the Activities of Daily Vision Scale (ADVS). RESULTS. In multiple regression analyses adjusted for demographic factors, cognitive status, depression, and number of comorbid medical conditions, each of the vision tests except low luminance acuity was independently associated with lower ADVS scores. The analyses indicate that a factor of 2 reduction in visual acuity or contrast sensitivity, comparable with that observed in mild to moderate lens opacity, was associated with a three- to fivefold odds of reporting difficulty with daily tasks. Although age alone was a significant risk factor for disability, it was not associated with overall ADVS score, once visual impairment and other chronic medical conditions were taken into account. CONCLUSIONS. Visual acuity, contrast and glare sensitivity, stereoacuity, and visual fields are significant independent risk factors for self-reported visual disability in an older population. Visual impairment defined by acuity alone is not the only dimension of the association with subjective disability. Additional vision measures are required to understand the impact of vision loss on everyday life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-72
Number of pages9
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Volume42
Issue number1
StatePublished - 30 Jan 2001

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