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Br J Community Nurs. 2013 Dec;18(12):608-13.

Mobility restriction and comorbidity in vision-impaired individuals living in the community.

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Lecturer in Disability Studies and the Study of Occupation in the Discipline of Occupational Therapy, Trinity College Dublin.


A review of data presented in a national study of perceptions and experiences of mobility with an age-stratified sample of 564 Irish adults with vision impairment found that mobility was a significant issue. Comorbidity is a factor with 97 (29.5%) of the under-65 age group and 135 (59%) of the older age group reporting additional health challenges. Adapting to vision loss and ageing has psychological, functional, social and health implications and help-seeking is a complex process. This may explain the limited use of mobility aids and guide dogs in the total sample (5%), with a notable absence of use in the older age group. A broad view of the Person-Environment-Occupation Model was proposed for primary and community care services, in collaboration with specialist vision impairment agencies to enhance mobility, maintain functional capacity, influence positive and healthy adaptation to vision impairment, social inclusion and quality of life in a population expected to increase by more than 170% over the next 25 years.

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