ERIC Number: EJ826789
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Ability to Read Medication Labels Improved by Participation in a Low Vision Rehabilitation Program
Markowitz, Samuel N.; Kent, Christine K.; Schuchard, Ronald A.; Fletcher, Donald C.
Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, v102 n12 p774-777 Dec 2008
Demographic projections indicate that the population of the Western world is aging, and evidence suggests an increase in the incidence of conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), that produce visual impairments and result in low vision (Maberley et al., 2006). It is expected that in the United States and Canada, the annual number of new cases of visual impairment will double that of the current rate by 2025 (Massof, 2002). In light of these expected demographic changes and the expected increase in the demand for services, it is critical to assess low vision rehabilitation outcomes for interventions on various tasks that are commonly performed in activities of daily living. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of low vision rehabilitation interventions on the ability of individuals with low vision to read standard labels on medication packages. Data were collected on the patients' demographic characteristics, diagnosis of low vision, ocular and medical histories, and details on the low vision rehabilitation interventions that were prescribed and implemented. Over a span of about 12 months, 57 participants (61% of whom were women and 31% of whom were men) aged 49-95 (median age 80) were recruited for the study. The average number of medications used per participant was 4 with a range of 1-14. At the time of the initial evaluation, most of the participants (58%) were unable to access the information on the labels of their own prescribed medications (rating of 0), 40% were partially able to access the information but not with confidence (rating of 1), and 2% were able to access the information accurately. At the time of discharge from the study, 94% of the participants were able to read the printed directions on the labels of their prescribed medications accurately and reliably (rating of 2), 2% were unable to read the directions (rating of 0), and 4% were partially able to read the labels (rating of 1). Among the participants with low vision in this study, a significant improvement in the ability to read medication labels was observed with a modest investment in time and resources. This finding appears to demonstrate an important benefit of a relatively simple, inexpensive low vision rehabilitation intervention for this specific task.
Descriptors: Program Effectiveness, Aging (Individuals), Incidence, Intervention, Daily Living Skills, Printed Materials, Reading Ability, Drug Use, Individual Characteristics, Clinical Diagnosis, Program Implementation, Visual Impairments, Partial Vision, Rehabilitation Programs, Vision, Assistive Technology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A