I finally got to give my talk at the College of Optometrists’ Regional event in Norwich on Thursday, after it was cancelled in January with the snow. My talk was ‘How low can you go? Expanding low vision service provision in practice’ and I covered some of the ways that more patients with impaired vision can be dealt with in primary care with a few tweaks to the sight test routine, and use of a few choice low vision aids. The Forum in Norwich was a lovely venue, and it was really nice to meet those there in the breaks in the program. The other talk of the night: ‘It’s a bug’s life’ by Damian Lake was extremely good, making it a very enjoyable evening all round. Thank you for the tweet Daniel!
I have had a paper accepted for the upcoming special issue of Optometry and Vision Science on ‘Measurement of the patient’s perspective’. My contribution is ‘Evaluation of an Emotional Support Service for the Visually Impaired’, and a link to the paper will be available soon. The study examined the effect of a peer group emotional support service run by Cam Sight on visual quality of life (as assessed with Frost’s VCM1). The service was most beneficial to those with initially poorer visual quality of life, who showed significant improvements in visual quality of life that were maintained for 6 months after the service provision (effect size 0.92). The questionnaire items which became and remained easier were feeling lonely or isolated due to eyesight, feeling sad or low due to eyesight, and feeling worried about general safety outside the home. The study adds to the evidence that group based programmes can be effective in supporting people with visual impairment, particularly those who are depressed or have poor visual quality of life.
We have recently received funding from The College of Optometrists, and are now seeking applicants to take up this PhD scholarship with us. The project is titled ‘Functional visual field assessment in low vision’ and will be supervised by myself, Joy Myint, and Michael Crossland. Applicants should hold a first or upper second class degree, and be a member of (or able to join) The College of Optometrists. Interest in, and experience of, visual field assessment and low vision would also be advantageous. Further information is available here. Please contact me with any questions regarding the project, and do note the closing date of June 28th.