Individual's recollections of their experiences in eye clinics and understanding of their eye condition: results from a survey of visually impaired people in Britain

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Background/aims: Network 1000 is a UK-based panel survey of a representative sample of adults with registered visual impairment, with the aim of gathering information about people’s opinions and circumstances.
Method: Participants were interviewed (Survey 1, n = 1007: 2005; Survey 2, n = 922: 2006/07) on a range of topics including the nature of their eye condition, details of other health issues, use of low vision aids (LVAs) and their experiences in eye clinics.
Results: Eleven percent of individuals did not know the name of their eye condition. Seventy percent of participants reported having long-term health problems or disabilities in addition to visual impairment and 43% reported having hearing difficulties. Seventy one percent reported using LVAs for reading tasks. Participants who had become registered as visually impaired in the previous 8 years (n = 395) were asked questions about non-medical information received in the eye clinic around that time. Reported information received included advice about ‘registration’ (48%), low vision aids (45%) and social care routes (43%); 17% reported receiving no information. While 70% of people were satisfied with the information received, this was lower for those of working age (56%) compared with retirement age (72%). Those who recalled receiving additional non-medical information and advice at the time of registration also recalled their experiences more positively.
Conclusions: Whilst caution should be applied to the accuracy of recall of past events, the data provide a valuable insight into the types of information and support that visually impaired people feel they would benefit from in the eye clinic.


  • Individual’s recollections of their experiences

    Rights statement: Acknowledgement to the Journal, College of Optometrists and Blackwell Publishing. The definitive version is available at

    Accepted author manuscript, 70 KB, PDF-document


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)748-757
Number of pages10
JournalOphthalmic and Physiological Optics
Early online date10 Jun 2010
StatePublished - 18 Nov 2010

Bibliographic note

Acknowledgement to the Journal, College of Optometrists and Blackwell Publishing. The definitive version is available at


  • adolescent, adult, aged, Great Britain, health knowledge, health surveys, Humans, Mental Recall, Middle Aged, hospital outpatient clinics, patient education as topic, reproducibility of results, self-help devices, vision disorders, visually impaired persons, young adult


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