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Kathryn Park, Yeji Kim, Brian J. Nguyen, Allison Chen, Daniel L. Chao; Quality of Life Assessment of Severely Visually Impaired Individuals Using Aira Assistive Technology System. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(4):21. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.4.21.
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To assess patient-reported quality of life outcome improvements in severely visually impaired (SVI) individuals using the Aira system over a 1-year follow-up period.
Aira is an on-demand assistive technology designed for SVI. Aira subscribers were recruited and administered the validated 28-item Impact of Vision Impairment-Very Low Vision Questionnaire by phone before starting Aira with follow-ups at 3 months and 1 year. Total score and validated subset scores of activities of daily living, mobility, and safety (ADLMS) and emotional well-being (EWB) were assessed. Pearson correlation analyses and paired t-tests were used to examine the data.
Fifty participants (mean, age, 52.5 years; 25 males, 25 females) were recruited with a mean of 401 ± 66.3 days to follow-up. The initial total score (mean, 53.1 ± 18.9) significantly improved at 1 year (mean, 63.1 ± 16.2; P = 0.0002). The initial ADLMS score (mean, 30.7 ± 11.3) significantly improved at 1 year (mean, 37.2 ± 10.7; P = 0.001). The initial EWB score (mean, 22.5 ± 8.5) significantly improved at 1 year (mean, 25.9 ± 8.0; P = 0.0001). There was no significant difference between the 3-month and 1-year total (P = 0.972), ADLMS (P = 0.897), and EWB scores (P = 0.700). There was a significant correlation between minutes used and improvement in total (r = 0.371; P = 0.009), ADLMS (r = 0.302; P = 0.035), and EWB (r = 0.439; P = 0.002) scores.
Aira use significantly improves Impact of Vision Impairment-Very Low Vision total, ADLMS, and EWB scores for SVI individuals at 3 months. This improvement is sustained at the 1-year follow-up and correlated with total minutes used.
Aira technology may provide sustained improvement in quality of life for SVI, and further study to evaluate the usefulness of this technology to assist SVI may be beneficial.
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