Authors
Norris Lam MSc, OD, FAAOSusan J. Leat, PhD, FCOptom, FAAO

Canadian Optometric Low Vision: Predictive Factors and Regional Comparisons

publication date
2016-03-31
Category
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Abstract/Introduction

Purpose: To investigate the regional differences in low vision (LV) provision across Canada and to identify predictive factors for the provision of more extensive low vision services (LVS).

Methods:  Practising  optometrists  across  Canada  were  invited  to  participate  in  a  questionnaire  that  investigated personal and practice demographics, levels of LVS offered, patterns of referrals and barriers to provision of LVS.


Conclusion/Results

Results:  459  optometrists  responded.  Predictive  factors  for  providing  more  extensive  LVS  included:  optometrists  with  >15  years  of  practice,  having  a  local  LV  optometrist/ophthalmologist  within  one  day’s travel, not having a multi-disciplinary LV clinic within one-day’s travel, working in a practice in a population of <50,000, and having 2+ optometrists in the same practice. Regional differences were found in the following variables: the presence of an optometrist offering LVS within the respondent’s primary practice, referral criteria, the type of LV provider receiving the referral, and the perceived quality of LVS.

Conclusions: LVS are provided differently across Canada and the availability of government-funded LVS appeared to enhance optometric referrals to multidisciplinary low vision clinics. Optometrists who were in a group practice setting, who had practiced for >15 years and who worked in a less populated area were more likely to provide more extensive LVS


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  • I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.


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  • My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!


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  • The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.


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