A holistic model of low vision care for improving vision-related quality of life

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Vision impairment can have a significant impact on the wellbeing and quality of life of an individual. Vision rehabilitation has the potential to improve these areas; however, four in five patients with vision impairment are not being referred to the appropriate services. Barriers to on-referral include, but are not limited to: (1) misunderstandings by both practitioners and patients alike regarding which individuals with vision impairment might benefit or qualify for low vision services; (2) lack of awareness of available services; (3) unfamiliarity with practice guidelines; (4) miscommunication between practitioners and patients; (5) required patient travel or limitations in access; and (6) the perceived costs of goods and services. Further, current referral patterns do not represent a holistic patient-centric approach. Vision-related quality of life questionnaires are tools which can assist health professionals in providing optimal individualised care. This review explores current evidence regarding low vision service delivery within Australia and globally, the impact of vision impairment on activities of daily living, the instruments used for the assessment of vision-related quality of life (VRQOL), competing priorities of individual needs in low vision services and rehabilitation, and provides recommendations for a more patient-centred model of care.

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