The determinants of participation in activities of daily living in people with impaired vision

Am J Ophthalmol. 2004 Feb;137(2):265-70. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2003.08.003.


Purpose: To investigate the determinants of participation in daily activities in people with impaired vision using the Impact of Vision Impairment (IVI) instrument.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Methods: We recruited 319 participants with no vision rehabilitation history, distance visual acuity (VA) <6/12 (better eye), the ability to converse in English, and 18 years or older. Participants completed the 32-item IVI questionnaire and provided demographic, personal, cultural, and environmental details on vision-related functioning. Visual acuity data were either abstracted from the participants' files or assessed by qualified personnel. Participants also completed the SF-12 to evaluate physical (PCS-12) and mental health (MCS-12).

Results: The areas of greatest restriction of participation were associated with reading, outdoor mobility, participation in leisure activities, and shopping. In stepwise linear regression presenting VA, the PCS-12 and MCS-12 explained the variance in leisure and work (60 participants or 19%), consumer and social interaction (92 participants or 30%), household and personal care (76 participants or 24%), mobility (92 participants or 30%), emotional reaction to visual loss and (106 participants or 33%), and total IVI score (114 participants or 36%). Having age-related macular degeneration contributed marginally to the IVI domains and total score (P <.05-.01), except for the emotional domain. Belonging to a social group explained 3% and 2% of the variance in the consumer and social interaction and emotional domains, respectively (P <.05).

Conclusions: Distance VA and physical and mental health explained more than a third of the variance of the total score, suggesting that an intervention aimed at improving quality of life may include strategies to improve not only vision-related rehabilitation but also mental and physical health.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Participation / psychology
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vision Disorders / etiology
  • Vision Disorders / psychology*
  • Vision Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visually Impaired Persons / psychology*
  • Visually Impaired Persons / rehabilitation