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Clin Experiment Ophthalmol. 2013 Apr;41(3):223-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9071.2012.02846.x. Epub 2012 Sep 17.

Near-vision impairment and unresolved vision problems in Indigenous Australian adults.

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  • 1Population Health Unit, Centre for Eye Research Australia, Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

  To describe near-vision impairment, self-reported unresolved vision problems and barriers to having near-vision correction in Indigenous Australians.

DESIGN:

  A nationwide population-based study designed to determine the causes and prevalence of vision loss and utilization of eye care services.

PARTICIPANTS:

  Indigenous Australians aged ≥40 years.

METHODS:

  Using a multistage random cluster sampling methodology, 30 geographical areas stratified by remoteness were selected to obtain a representation of Indigenous Australians. Visual acuity was conducted using a standard E chart. A questionnaire collected data on eye health, eye care service utilization and vision-related quality of life.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

  Near-vision impairment defined as presenting binocular near visual acuity <N8. Self-reported unresolved vision problems defined as anything considered an eye/vision problem by the participant, including distance and/or near-vision impairments, not resolved after seeking care and quality-of-life scores.

RESULTS:

  Being aged 50-59 years (reference group 40-49 years), speaking a language other than English at home and vision loss (distance vision impairment and blindness) increased the odds of near-vision impairment. Of those with near-vision impairment, 37% (175/468) reported not having near-vision correction. Being aged 60-69 years, speaking a language other than English at home and having vision loss decreased the odds of having near-vision correction. Longer time since last consultation was associated with unresolved vision problems and worse quality-of-life scores.

CONCLUSION:

  There remains a large unmet need in regard to near-vision correction. Many Indigenous adults have unresolved vision problems that could be resolved with regular consultations with eye care services.

© 2012 The Authors. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology © 2012 Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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