An analysis of the impact of visual impairment on nutritional intake, Activities of Daily Living and Vision Related Quality of Life in adults with VI

  • Nabila Jones

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


A systematic review of the literature revealed visual impairment (VI) significantly affects nutritional status. Recent UK reports stated that the needs of people with VI in the UK are not being met, with reports of inaccessibility to shops and restaurants. This is the first time that the impact of VI upon nutritional intake, activities of daily living (ADL’s) and vision-related quality of life (VR-QoL) has been investigated in a UK adult population.
In all, 109 participants with VI and 50 age-matched control participants were recruited from VI support organisations and optometric practice. A 37-item questionnaire was disseminated to participants via a telephone interview, and participants completed three 24-hr food recalls. Participants with VI also completed a validated ten-item VR-QoL questionnaire. Using the findings from the questionnaire dissemination and a series of focus groups with 41 people with VI, a validated educational intervention was developed and evaluated.
This study revealed that VR-QoL is affected frequently and that being VI presents multifactorial obstacles to the ADLs shopping and cooking. Those with VI were found to be less knowledgeable about healthy eating behaviours, and consumed significantly fewer nutrients compared to the control cohort. The educational intervention received insightful evaluation from participants and proved successful, with self-efficacy significantly improving for each outcome measure.
This study highlights education is key to supporting the nutritional intake and the ability to perform ADLs of people with VI. Introducing norms into marketing is also recommended; this will help suppliers and consumers become more aware of the needs of people with VI.
Date of Award2019
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorHannah Bartlett (Supervisor), Richard Cooke (Supervisor) & Claire Farrow (Supervisor)


  • severely sight impaired
  • sight impaired
  • interventions
  • nutritional status
  • marketing

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