How do older people with sight loss manage their general health? A qualitative study


Purpose: Older people with sight loss experience a number of barriers to managing their health. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how older people with sight loss manage their general health and explore the techniques used and strategies employed for health management. Methods: Semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with 30 participants. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Health management challenges experienced included: managing multiple health conditions; accessing information; engaging in health behaviours and maintaining wellbeing. Positive strategies included: joining support groups, clubs and societies; using low vision aids; seeking support from family and friends and accessing support through health and social care services. Conclusion: Healthcare professionals need to be more aware of the challenges faced by older people with sight loss. Improved promotion of group support and charity services which are best placed to share information, provide fora to learn about coping techniques and strategies, and give older people social support to prevent isolation is needed. Rehabilitation and support services and equipment can only be beneficial if patients know what is available and how to access them. Over-reliance on self-advocacy in current healthcare systems is not conducive to patient-centred care. Implications for Rehabilitation Sight loss in older people can impact on many factors including health management. This study identifies challenges to health management and highlights strategies used by older people with sight loss to manage their health. Access to support often relies on patients seeking information for themselves. However, self-advocacy is challenging due to information accessibility barriers. Informal groups and charities play an important role in educating patients about their condition and advising on available support to facilitate health management.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Optometry & Vision Science Research Group (OVSRG)
College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Vision, Hearing and Language
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Optometry
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Institute of Health & Neurodevelopment (AIHN)
College of Health & Life Sciences > Chronic and Communicable Conditions
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Disability and Rehabilitation on 14/01/16, available online: Funding: Thomas Pocklington Trust and West Birmingham and Sandwell NHS Trust.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Healthcare,vision impairment,health management,older people
Publication ISSN: 1464-5165
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2024 08:11
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2016 12:01
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Related URLs: https://www.tan ... rnalCode=idre20 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2016-11-01
Published Online Date: 2016-01-14
Accepted Date: 2015-11-18
Submitted Date: 2015-06-26
Authors: Burton, Amy E.
Gibson, Jonathan M. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-9281-5244)
Shaw, Rachel L. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-0438-7666)




Version: Accepted Version

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