Impact of low vision on employment

Ophthalmologica. 2010;224(6):381-8. doi: 10.1159/000316688. Epub 2010 Jul 1.


Background: We investigated the influence of self-reported corrected eyesight on several variables describing the perception by employees and self-employed persons of their employment.

Methods: Our study was based on data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). SHARE is a multidisciplinary, cross-national database of microdata on health, socioeconomic status, social and family networks, collected on 31,115 individuals in 11 European countries and in Israel. With the help of ordered logistic regressions and binary logistic regressions, we analyzed the influence of perceived visual impairment--corrected by 19 covariates capturing socioeconomic and health-related factors--on 10 variables describing the respondents' employment situation.

Results: Based on data covering 10,340 working individuals, the results of the logistic and ordered regressions indicate that respondents with lower levels of self-reported general eyesight were significantly less satisfied with their jobs, felt they had less freedom to decide, less opportunity to develop new skills, less support in difficult situations, less recognition for their work, and an inadequate salary. Respondents with a lower eyesight level more frequently reported that they feared their health might limit their ability to work before regular retirement age and more often indicated that they were seeking early retirement.

Conclusions: Analysis of this dataset from 12 countries demonstrates the strong impact of self-reported visual impairment on individual employment, and therefore on job satisfaction, productivity, and well-being.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Databases, Factual
  • Employment*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Retirement
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits
  • Vision, Low / physiopathology*