A Comparison of Low Vision Clinic Data with Low Vision Survey and Blindness Registration Information

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Purpose. To determine whether low vision demographic data provided by low vision clinic data are comparable to that provided by blindness registration and disability questionnaire information. Methods. Low vision demographic data for Canada and Ontario within the postcensus Health and Activity Limitation Survey (HALS 1991) were obtained from Statistics Canada. These data were compared with 4744 reports of low vision examinations obtained in a multi-center low vision clinic study in Ontario, Canada (1991-1994) and appropriate annual figures from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB). Results. Data from the low vision clinic study and the CNIB were similar. The low vision clinic study (and CNIB) reported far fewer adults (15 to 64 years) and far more seniors (65+ years) obtaining low vision examinations than suggested by HALS. Conclusions. HALS does not report on patients with low vision, as defined in low vision clinics. The differences between survey, low vision clinic, and blindness registration data are presented.

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