The association between low vision and function

J Aging Health. 2008 Aug;20(5):504-25. doi: 10.1177/0898264308317534. Epub 2008 Apr 24.


Objective: This study considers the relationship between low vision and function, specifically exploring whether vision loss is differentially associated with activities of daily living (ADL) versus instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) disability.

Methods: Guided by the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health framework, multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed for IADL and ADL on a sample of 9,115 adults aged 65 years and above from the 1998 Health and Retirement study.

Results: The data supports the fact that ADL and IADL disabilities are associated with vision loss, and there is a differential relationship among functions, with IADLs being more challenging and requiring better visual abilities.

Discussion: The findings provide evidence that ADL and IADLs require different skills and are associated differently depending on numerous variables. As the incidence of people living with vision loss is increasing to epidemic proportions due to an aging population, understanding the relationship between vision and participation in meaningful activities has important implications.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aged / physiology
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Humans
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Logistic Models
  • Vision, Low*
  • Visual Acuity / physiology