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Clin Exp Optom. 2007 Mar;90(2):115-23.

Vision and self-reported mobility performance in patients with low vision.

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1
Department of Optometry and Vision Science, The University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

As vision plays a significant role in mobility performance, it is usual to refer low vision patients, particularly those who complain of mobility difficulties, for orientation and mobility (O&M) training to help them maintain safe independent travel. Our study aimed to determine whether there was a relationship between measures of vision and self-reported mobility, and the applicability of a patient-based mobility assessment in patients with heterogeneous causes of visual loss.

METHOD:

We assessed the high and low contrast visual acuity, visual field and scanning ability of 30 patients with low vision. A validated mobility questionnaire was used to assess the participants' perceived visual ability for independent mobility.

RESULTS:

Vision was significantly correlated with self-reported mobility performance, however, visual field was a significant predictor accounting for 56.5 per cent of the variance. The instrument was well constructed with valid content and high reliability scores.

CONCLUSIONS:

Self-reported mobility performance together with measures of vision could be used as a guide to refer patients for O&M training. The patient-based assessment instrument was valid to measure perceived visual ability for independent mobility in patients with heterogeneous causes of visual loss.

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