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Indian J Ophthalmol. 2019 May;67(5):669-676. doi: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_1655_18.

Coping strategy in persons with low vision or blindness - an exploratory study.

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1
Department of Ophthalmology, University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Delhi - 95, India.

Abstract

Purpose:

Coping strategies employed by people with visual disability can influence their quality of life (QoL). We aimed to assess coping in patients with low vision or blindness.

Methods:

In this descriptive cross sectional study, 60 patients (25-65 years) with <6/18 best-corrected vision (BCVA) in the better eye and vision loss since ≥6 months were recruited after the institutional ethics clearance and written informed consent. Age, gender, presence of other chronic illness, BCVA, coping strategies (Proactive Coping Inventory, Hindi version), and vision-related quality of life (VRQoL; Hindi version of IND-VFQ33) were recorded. Range, mean (standard deviation) for continuous and proportion for categorical variables. Pearson correlation looked at how coping varied with age and with VRQoL. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) and t-test compared coping scores across categorical variables. Statistical significance was taken at P < 0.05.

Results:

Sixty patients fulfilled inclusion criteria. There were 33 (55%) women; 25 (41.7%) had low vision, 5 (8.3%) had economic blindness, and 30 (50.0%) had social blindness; 27 (45.0%) had a co-morbid chronic illness. Total coping score was 142 ± 26.43 (maximum 217). VRQoL score (maximum 100) was 41.9 ± 15.98 for general functioning; 32.1 ± 12.15 for psychosocial impact, and 41.1 ± 17.30 for visual symptoms. Proactive coping, reflective coping, strategic planning, and preventive coping scores correlated positively with VRQoL in general functioning and psychosocial impact.

Conclusion:

Positive coping strategies are associated with a better QoL. Ophthalmologists who evaluate visual disability should consider coping mechanisms that their patients employ and should refer them for counseling and training in more positive ways of coping.

KEYWORDS:

Blindness; IND-VFQ33; coping strategy; low; proactive coping inventory; quality of life; vision; vision-related quality of life

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