Background: Low-vision care is a widely accepted and valued service provided by many optometrists. As in other areas of health care, evaluation of the outcome of low-vision care is increasingly necessary so it can be properly positioned in the health care delivery system.
Methods: This article reviews the literature relating to the prevalence of low vision, its impact on affected individuals, and how low-vision intervention affects those with visual impairments. This review considers the ways in which the impact of low-vision care has been evaluated.
Results: The existing literature demonstrates that low-vision intervention can be highly valued by low-vision patients and can have a significant impact on an individual's daily life and activities. Evaluating this impact is a significant challenge-particularly if the goal is to gauge the outcome of low vision care as broadly as possible.
Conclusions: Evaluation of health-related quality of life is a desirable option for evaluation of outcomes, and the application of quality of life instruments to the visually impaired population is necessary. There remain unresolved issues of optometric research that need to be addressed.