BACKGROUND: Since 1972, the Australian College of Optometry has worked in partnership with Vision Australia to provide multidisciplinary low-vision care at the Kooyong Low Vision Clinic. In 1999, Wolffsohn and Cochrane reported on the demographic characteristics of patients attending Kooyong. Sixteen years on, the aim of this study is to review the demographics of the Kooyong patient cohort and prescribing patterns.
METHODS: Records of all new patients (n = 155) attending the Kooyong Low Vision Clinic for optometry services between April and September 2012 were retrospectively reviewed.
RESULTS: Median age was 84.3 years (range 7.7 to 98.1 years) with 59 per cent female. The majority of patients presented with late-onset degenerative pathology, 49 per cent with a primary diagnosis of age-related macular degeneration. Many (47.1 per cent) lived with their families. Mean distance visual acuity was 0.57 ± 0.47 logMAR or approximately 6/24. The median spectacle-corrected near visual acuity was N8 (range N3 to worse than N80). Fifty patients (32.3 per cent) were prescribed new spectacles, 51 (32.9 per cent) low vision aids and five (8.3 per cent) were prescribed electronic magnification devices. Almost two-thirds (63.9 per cent) were referred for occupational therapy management and 12.3 per cent for orientation and mobility services.
CONCLUSIONS: The profile of patients presenting for low-vision services at Kooyong is broadly similar to that identified in 1999. Outcomes appear to be similar, aside from an expected increase in electronic devices and technological solutions; however, the nature of services is changing, as treatments for ocular diseases advance and assistive technology develops and becomes more accessible. Alongside the aging population and age-related ocular disease being the predominant cause of low vision in Australia, the health-funding landscape is becoming more restrictive. The challenge for the future will be to provide timely, high-quality care in an economically efficient model.
Bibliographical noteThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Chong, M. F., Jackson, A. J., Wolffsohn, J. S., & Bentley, S. A. (2016). An update on the characteristics of patients attending the Kooyong Low Vision Clinic. Clinical and Experimental Optometry, Early view, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cxo.12395. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
- Low vision
- Multidisciplinary care