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Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. 2019 Sep 30;26(3):127-132. doi: 10.4103/meajo.MEAJO_256_18. eCollection 2019 Jul-Sep.

Impact of Visual Impairment and Blindness on Quality of Life of Patients in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.
Department of Ophthalmology, Imo State University, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.



This study sought to determine the quality of life (QOL) of patients with visual impairment in Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State, with a view to making recommendations for comprehensive management of patients.


This was a hospital-based, cross-sectional study carried out at the Eye Clinic of Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State, Southeast Nigeria. New patients aged 18 years and older were consecutively recruited. Data were obtained using a semi-structured questionnaire and a World Health Organization's QOL Scale-Short Form (WHO-QOL-BREF). Participants had comprehensive eye examinations, and data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 22.


One hundred and eight (53.7%) females and 93 (46.3%) males with a mean age of 55.92 ± 16.94 years participated in the study. The major causes of visual impairment were uncorrected refractive error, glaucoma, and cataract. Glaucoma (6.5%) was the leading cause of blindness. The overall QOL score was 61.10 ± 19.75, with the lowest mean score in the environmental domain. With increasing visual impairment, there was a 19.1% reduction in QOL. QOL was also affected by age, duration of visual impairment, and history of poor near vision.


The leading causes of visual impairment and blindness in this study are avoidable and treatable. Health education, appropriate intervention, and support groups should be encouraged. This may serve to reduce the burden of visual impairment and improve the QOL of patients.


Impact; quality of life; visual impairment

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