Public Release: 

Expenditures for special equipment add to high personal cost for visually impaired persons

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. - Researchers will present the results of their study concerning the personal costs of vision impairment in Australia during the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2007 Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The presentation will be made on Tuesday, May 8 from 8:30 to 10:15 a.m. in Hall B/C of the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.

The mean age of 150 study participants was 64.8 years; 60.7 percent were female. Forty-four percent had severe vision impairment in the better eye (<6/60) and the most common eye condition was age-related macular degeneration. Over 12 months, the participants completed diaries that indicated the highest median expenditures were related to costs associated with special "equipment," "personal care services," "home help," "transport assistance," and "taxi" services. When diary entries were validated against specific questions in the follow-up questionnaire, there was evidence of underreporting of costs in some cases which may indicate that the economic burden of personal costs associated with impaired vision is even greater than current estimations.

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The study's First Author, Shiao-Lan Chou, PhD, is affiliated with the Centre for Eye Research Australia at The University of Melbourne.

Established in 1928, ARVO is a membership organization of more than 11,700 eye and vision researchers from over 70 countries. The Association encourages and assists its members and others in research, training, publication and dissemination of knowledge in vision and ophthalmology. ARVO's headquarters are located in Rockville, Md. For more information, logon to www.arvo.org.

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