Optometric and multidisciplinary approaches in prescribing low vision aids-revised

Marloes C. Burggraaff, Ruth M.A. Nispen, Michiel R. De Boer, Ger H.M.B. Van Rens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: It is expected that the number of visual impaired elderly will increase dramatically over the next decades. This will result in more ophthalmic consultations and an increased demand on visual rehabilitation. In the Netherlands there seem to be great differences in optometric and multidisciplinary approaches in prescribing low vision aids. Purpose: to describe possible differences between optometric and multidisciplinary approaches in their prescription of low vision aids. Methods: a non-randomised prospective cohort study among elderly > 50 years of age in the Netherlands to compare the number and type of prescribed low vision aids by optometric and multidisciplinary services and the relation of these aids to characteristics such as visual acuity and age. This study is part of a large ongoing study in the Netherlands on the outcome on quality of life of visually impaired elderly of rehabilitation. Results: Optometric services prescribed significantly more low vision aids per patient (mean difference = 0.7; 95% CI [-1.01-0.35]). These services also prescribed more telescopic and glare protective devices than multidisciplinary services. Multidisciplinary services prescribed more fluorescent lamps. Discussion: Optometric and multidisciplinary services have different approaches in prescribing low vision aids. In the Netherlands, optometrists seem to focus on low vision aids, whereas employees of multidisciplinary services tend to focus more on rehabilitation. This leads to differences in prescribed amounts and types of low vision aids. Future studies should concentrate on cost-effectiveness of both approaches and on the actual use of low vision aids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
JournalVisual Impairment Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2006

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