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Srinivas Marmamula, William Mitchell, Nazlee Zebardast, Joseph Locascio, Navya Rekha Barrenkala, Thirupathi Reddy Kumbham, Satya Brahmanandam Modepalli, Rohit C. Khanna, David S. Friedman; Impact of Vision Loss on Visual Function Among Elderly Residents in the “Home for the Aged” in India: The Hyderabad Ocular Morbidity in Elderly Study. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(13):11. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.13.11.
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The purpose of this study was to report the association between visual impairment (VI) and self-reported visual difficulty among the elderly in residential care using the Indian Vision Functioning Questionnaire (IND-VFQ-33) psychometrically validated questionnaire.
Participants aged ≥ 60 years were recruited from 41 homes in Hyderabad in South India. All participants underwent detailed eye examination and interviews. Self-reported visual function was assessed using the IND-VFQ-33 questionnaire. Factor Analysis and Item Response Theory (IRT) models were used for analysis. Multivariable regression models were used to investigate associations between derived global difficulty scores versus severity and causes of VI. Presenting visual acuity worse than 6/18 in the better eye was considered as VI.
In total, 867 elderly participants completed the INDVFQ-33. Two latent traits (“daily activities” and “visual symptoms”) were identified on factor analysis, each with uniquely loading questions. Participants with VI reported significantly higher daily activities difficulty (6 points higher) and visual symptoms difficulty (1.7 points higher) than those without VI (P < 0.05). Those with cataract reported the highest daily activities and visual symptoms difficulty (7.6 points and 2.2 points higher, respectively, P < 0.05). Greater severity of VI was associated with increased self-reported difficulty for both factors, and for all causes of VI.
We present a psychometrically validated visual questionnaire particularly suited to older adults in residential homes. We show a significant association between cause/severity of VI and difficulty with daily activities and visual symptoms after adjusting for sociodemographic and medical factors.
Understanding the impact of vision loss on visual functions in the elderly will help in planning and resource allocation for developing early intervention programs for the elderly.
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