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Are we blind to the injuries in the visually impaired? A review of the literature

Legood, R., Scuffham, Paul, Cryer, Colin (2002) Are we blind to the injuries in the visually impaired? A review of the literature. Injury Prevention, 8 (2). pp. 155-160. (doi:10.1136/ip.8.2.155) (KAR id:24543)


Objectives: To review the literature on the risks and types of injuries associated with visual impairment, and to identify pertinent areas for future research.

Methods: A search of bibliographic databases was conducted in April 2000 for studies published since 1980 and selected studies that met two or more of the following criteria: formal ophthalmic assessment was used; adjustment for confounding variables; large sample size including numbers of visually impaired; and clear definitions and outcomes.

Results: Thirty one studies were selected. The majority of these studies (20) assessed falls (including eight on hip fracture and four on multiple falls), eight studies reported traffic related injuries, and three studies assessed occupational injury. The evidence on falls, which relate predominantly to older people, suggests that those with reduced visual acuity are 1.7 times more likely to have a fall and 1.9 times more likely to have multiple falls compared with fully sighted populations. The odds of a hip fracture are between 1.3 and 1.9 times greater for those with reduced visual acuity. Studies of less severe injuries and other causes of injury were either poorly designed, underpowered, or did not exist.

Conclusions: There are substantial gaps in research on both injuries to which people with visual impairment are especially susceptible and in evaluating interventions to reduce these injuries. It is recommended that in future studies the minimum data captured includes: formal ophthalmic assessment of visual fields and visual acuity, outcome measurement, control for confounders, and the costs of health care resource use and any interventions.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1136/ip.8.2.155
Uncontrolled keywords: ophthalmic assessment, risk, traffic related injuries, occupational injuries
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Tony Rees
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2010 11:22 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:03 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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