Vision and self-reported mobility performance in patients with low vision

Clin Exp Optom. 2007 Mar;90(2):115-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1444-0938.2007.00120.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Contrast Sensitivity
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobility Limitation*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Vision, Ocular*
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visual Fields