A NATIONAL SURVEY OF OPHTHALMOLOGISTS, OPTOMETRISTS, AND REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION PROFESSIONALS ON LOW VISION AND BLINDNESS

Marie Leinhaas

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this research is twofold. First, this study was developed to describe the current patterns of service delivery for patients with low vision and blindness. This research explores the referral practices of ophthalmologists and optometrists with their low vision and blind patients, and the sources of referrals among those rehabilitation and education professionals who work with the low vision and blind population. Second, this study aimed to describe the respondents' clinical impressions of the minimum visual acuity requirements needed to perform selected tasks. Design: A survey method of data collection was utilized in this study. On request random samples of 500 for each group by zip code were selected by three professional membership organizations: the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Optometric Association, and the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. Each respondent received three consecutive mailings to maximize the response rate. A follow up telephone survey was utilized also. Results: The final response rate among the three groups was as follows: 47% ophthalmologists, 55% optometrists, and 50% education and rehabilitation professionals. The most significant findings revealed in this study were, 1) the poor referral practices of the eye care providers, and 2) the variance among all the professionals who work closest with this population on their opinions of the visual requirements to perform certain tasks. This study documents the need for improved education of eye care providers to the benefits of low vision rehabilitation, and for systematic testing of persons with low vision to study the true visual requirements to perform activities of daily life.

Details

Year: 1992

Program Number: 3:00 pm

Author Affiliation: n/a

Co-Authors: n/a

Co-Author Affiliation: n/a

Room: Scotland B