Reactions to blindness: a four-year follow-up study

Percept Mot Skills. 1987 Apr;64(2):363-78. doi: 10.2466/pms.1987.64.2.363.


A previously studied group of newly blind adults was followed up after four years. There was only a slight increase in the acquisition of blind skills, while there was a surprising continuing pervasiveness of depression and poor health. A number of variables from the original study and from the follow-up data predicted outcome measures. Significant predictors of depression and distress were poor health, being married, being nonProtestant in this predominantly Protestant London population, and lacking ability to be more independent. Higher social class and an absence of a family history of blindness predicted greater distress. Earlier acceptance of blindness, early learning of blind skills, and better preillness adjustment predicted better coping and greater use of blind skills at follow-up. The extent of the depression and poor health are discussed, and recommendations are made for caregivers.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adjustment Disorders / psychology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blindness / psychology*
  • Blindness / rehabilitation
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Sick Role