Authors
Malkin, Alexis G. OD, FAAO; Ross, Nicole C. OD, MSc, FAAO1; Chan, Tiffany L. OD, FAAO; Protosow, Kristin OD, FAAO; Bittner, Ava K. OD, PhD, FAAO

U.S. Optometrists' Reported Practices and Perceived Barriers for Low Vision Care for Mild Visual Loss

publication date
October 14, 2019
Category
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Abstract/Introduction

SIGNIFICANCE 

Identification of modifiable barriers to low vision rehabilitation (LVR) can inform efforts to improve practice management of patients with low vision (LV), through, for example, targeted educational programs for optometrists who do not practice LVR.

PURPOSE 

Mild vision loss (20/25 to 20/70) is increasing in prevalence among the aging population, yet it is unclear whether near-reading complaints (the highest presenting chief complaint) are being addressed. Studies of LVR provision by U.S. optometrists are currently lacking. This study elucidated self-reported optometric practice patterns for patients with mild vision loss.

METHODS 

Anonymous surveys were completed by 229 actively practicing optometrists across the United States. The survey inquired about the frequency of providing LVR for mild vision loss patients and the top barriers that prevent them from offering LVR management (including optical aids or referral).


Conclusion/Results

RESULTS 

Compared with those moderately actively practicing LVR, twice as many (2.08×) practitioners who do not practice any LVR reported that they never prescribe near-reading add power of 4 D or greater for mild vision loss (P < .001). Among those who do not practice LVR, 39 and 11% indicated that they never prescribe any LVR management strategies for patients with visual acuity of 20/25 to 20/40 and 20/50 to 20/70, respectively. The two most commonly reported barriers to LVR indicated by about half of respondents were “cost of the LV exam and/or devices” and that “patients are not interested or would not go to an LV exam.” Nearly a third of providers reported that “it is not feasible to stock magnifiers in office.”

CONCLUSIONS

A sizable group of non-LVR providers in the United States may not be addressing the near-vision needs of patients with mild vision loss. Several of the reported top barriers are potentially modifiable through the development of targeted educational programs for providers.


Testimonials


  • Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

    Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.


    Amanda T.

  • Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

    Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.


    Alexa H.

  • Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

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    Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!


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  • Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

    Thank you!


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