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Assessing visual activities of daily living in the visually impaired
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 13:15 authored by Keziah Latham, Claire Usherwood
Purpose: Visual function assessment questionnaires ask people to rate the difficulty they have performing visual activities of daily living (ADLs). This study examines the relationship between self-reported difficulty and actual performance in such ADLs. Methods: Twenty four subjects with established bilateral visual impairment initially self-reported their difficulty with 4 ADLs (reading newsprint, reading medicine labels, identifying coins and entering a PIN). Subjects’ performance in variants of these ADLs was then assessed by measuring the time taken; by an observer rating subjects’ performance; and by the subject rating their perceived difficulty with each specific task. Clinical visual function parameters were also assessed. Results: Varying the assessed ADL task changed how well the task correlated with self-reported difficulty. Clinical visual function, rate of task completion and observer rating of difficulty all correlated significantly with self-reported difficulty, explaining up to 69% of the variance in self-reported difficulty. However, despite replicating the ADLs as closely as possible in the clinical environment the perceived difficulty of the clinic tasks was rated as being less than the initial self-reported difficulty of the real-world task. Conclusions: The task variant used is important when assessing functional visual performance directly. Timed and observer-rated methods of assessment can be appropriate for assessing functional vision. In this small study, the disconnect between self-reported visual difficulty and perceived or assessed difficulty suggests that functional performance is not the only factor influencing self-report, and responses to visual function assessment questionnaires should be interpreted in this light.
Publication titleOphthalmic and Physiological Optics