Printed cards for measuring low-vision reading speed

Vision Res. 1995 Jul;35(13):1939-44. doi: 10.1016/0042-6989(94)00294-v.


There is a growing consensus that clinical evaluation of the real-world consequences of eye disease requires new performance-based tests. This is because Snellen acuity and other common clinical tests are often poor predictors of everyday function. Ahn and Legge [(1995) Vision Research, 35, 1931-1938] validated a computerized test of reading speed by showing that it provides an accurate prediction of low-vision reading performance with magnifiers. Here, we describe development of a printed-card version of the test suitable for clinical use. This printed-card test retains key design features of the validated computerized test, including the same set of sentences and display format. Data from 23 low-vision subjects showed that a very simple testing procedure using printed cards and a stop watch could be used effectively to estimate reading speed. Reading speed based on a single card was quite accurate (SD equal to about 18% of the mean) and showed no practice effects from one card to the next. Reading speeds obtained with printed cards correlated highly (r = 0.887) with those from computerized testing. We conclude that a simple test, using printed cards, can be used to obtain useful estimates of low-vision reading speed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lenses
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reading*
  • Time Factors
  • Vision Tests / methods*
  • Vision, Low / physiopathology*