Referral to Low Vision Services for Glaucoma Patients: Referral Criteria and Barriers

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Abstract

Purpose:

To determine what criteria are being used by glaucoma specialists to refer patients to low vision services (LVS) and to identify potential barriers to LVS referral.

Methods:

A survey was emailed to members of the American Glaucoma Society (AGS). The number and percentage of responses to each survey question were examined.

Results:

Reported criteria for referral included difficulty performing activities related to vision (78%), degree of visual field loss (63%), and difficulty with orientation and mobility (27%). Reported barriers to LVS referral included patients not expressing difficulty with activities related to vision (34%), not having enough time to counsel patients during clinic visits (32%), and perceiving that patients would not be able to afford LVS even if they were referred (31%).

Conclusions:

Among glaucoma specialists, patient-reported difficulties with vision-related activities were the most common criteria used for LVS referral. Reported barriers to LVS referral, including perceived patient economic restraints and insufficient time to counsel patients during clinic visits, need to be addressed through appropriate interventions.

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