Background: As vision plays a significant role in mobility performance, it is usual to refer low vision patients, particularly those who complain of mobility difficulties, for orientation and mobility (O&M) training to help them maintain safe independent travel. Our study aimed to determine whether there was a relationship between measures of vision and self-reported mobility, and the applicability of a patient-based mobility assessment in patients with heterogeneous causes of visual loss.
Method: We assessed the high and low contrast visual acuity, visual field and scanning ability of 30 patients with low vision. A validated mobility questionnaire was used to assess the participants' perceived visual ability for independent mobility.
Results: Vision was significantly correlated with self-reported mobility performance, however, visual field was a significant predictor accounting for 56.5 per cent of the variance. The instrument was well constructed with valid content and high reliability scores.
Conclusions: Self-reported mobility performance together with measures of vision could be used as a guide to refer patients for O&M training. The patient-based assessment instrument was valid to measure perceived visual ability for independent mobility in patients with heterogeneous causes of visual loss.