Presentation Abstract

Program#/Poster#: 3251/A567
Abstract Title: Deaf Adult Self-Reported Quality of Vision and Use of Eye Care
Presentation Start/End Time: Tuesday, May 04, 2010, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Session Number: 356
Session Title: Health Care Delivery and Economics
Location: Hall B/C
Reviewing Code: 242 health care delivery and economic research – CL
Author Block: R.S. Ramchandran1, E. Sutter2, R. Pollard2, S. Barnett2, G.K. Sterns3. 1Ophthalmology, Flaum Eye Institute at the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY; 2National Center for Deaf Health Research at the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY; 3Ophthalmology, Rochester General Hospital, Rochester, NY.
Keywords: 461 clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: natural history, 464 clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: risk factor assessment,
Abstract Body: Purpose:
To document reported vision health and use of eye care services in the Deaf community, a language minority with limited access to healthcare services and health information, and for whom vision is central to communication.

A 98-item computer-based health survey was administered in American Sign Language, English-based sign language, and written English to members of the Deaf community in the metropolitan Rochester, NY region. Respondents were asked about corrective lens wear, self-perceived difficulty with vision, recent eye care, and Usher’s syndrome. Results of these questions were compared with demographic and general health-related items. Statistical analysis was performed (SPSS Chicago, IL), and Pearson Chi-Square tests and ANOVA were used to determine any statistically significant differences in vision and eye care use.

A total of 339 individuals were surveyed. Mean age was 46.4 years (sd 13.39; range18-88), 45.5% were male, and 85.7% identified themselves as White, 4.4% as African American, and 9.9% as other or multiracial. Usher’s Syndrome was reported by 2.4% of respondents. A majority (78.4%) wore corrective lenses and 75.9% reported that they had seen an eye care specialist within the last two years. Of those wearing corrective lenses, 50% reported difficulty with their corrected vision, and 87.1% had seen an eye care specialist within the past two years compared to 38.6% of people not wearing corrective lenses (p<.0001).
Older individuals (p<0.0001) and women (84%) (p=0.007) were more likely to report wearing corrective lenses. Older individuals (p=0.003) and individuals with self-reported diabetes (100%) (p=0.009) were also more likely to see an eye specialist in the past two years. For wearers of corrective lenses, individuals reporting difficulty with their corrected vision were equally as likely to see an eye specialist as those who reported no vision difficulty.

A majority of Deaf respondents wore corrective lenses and were not satisfied with their vision despite seeing an eye care specialist within the past one year. Further studies assessing the prevalence of ocular pathology, vision health literacy, and patient-eye specialist interaction are required to better understand the needs, access to and delivery of eye care in the Deaf community.
CommercialRelationships:  R.S. Ramchandran: None. E. Sutter: None. R. Pollard: None. S. Barnett: None. G.K. Sterns: None.
Support: CDC Cooperative Agreement Number 1U48DP001910-01, US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality K08 HS15700

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