VISUALLY IMPAIRED ELDERS, DO THEY USE REHABILITATION SERVICES?

Title VISUALLY IMPAIRED ELDERS, DO THEY USE REHABILITATION SERVICES?
Author, Co-Author Jacques O.D., Mona Ph.D.
Topic
Year
1992
Day
Sunday
Program Number
Poster 79
Room
Great Hall
Affiliation
Abstract As part of a large survey on the health and ageing in Quebec, we collected data on the prevalence of visually impaired persons, and on their use of rehabilitation services. The sample comprised 1694 persons over 65 living in the community. Visual disability was considered present if the answer to one of these two questions was positive: Do you have trouble reading ordinary newsprint with glasses if normally worn? Do you have trouble seeing clearly the face of someone 12 feet away with glasses if normally worn? If the answer was positive to one of these two questions, the subjects were asked whether they recieved services for visual impairment from a rehabilitation center, from a low vision clinic other than in a rehabilitation center (i.e in a hospital or in the private office of an eye-care practitioner) or from a non-profit agency which cares for visually impaired persons. Prevalence disability at near was 9.5%, prevalence of distance disability was 5.4%, and for both it was 4.2%. Among persons with only one disability, 1% had received services from a rehabilitation center, 22.4% recieved services in low-vision from a eye-care specialist, and none received services from a non-profit agency. Among those with both disabilities, 11% recieved services from a center, 16.7% from a eye-care practitioner and 11% from a non-profit agency. The over-estimation of the prevalence of visual impairment by survey techniques has already been documented: a large percentage of the complaining individuals did not have an appropriate ophthalmic correction. However, the low percentage of use of rehabilitation services observed in this study raises some questions on the respective role of general eye-care practitioners, community-based health centers and rehabilitation centers in the rehabilitative process of the visually impaired elderly.
Affiliation of Co-Authors
Outline