We have just published a paper in IOVS outlining the relative difficulties of different visual goals for people with Retinitis PIgmentosa (RP) (Latham et al., doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-16237). The most difficult goals for people with RP relate (unsurprisingly, given the effect of RP on peripheral fields) to mobility, but also to work related activities. There were differences depending on the severity of RP (as given by visual impairment registration status): for those with less severe visual loss, goals relating to communicating with people were relatively more difficult, while for those with more severe loss, goals relating to detailed central visual function (such as reading) were relatively more difficult.
We also looked at the differences in perceptions of difficulty between those with RP and those who support a person with RP. While there was a relatively good match in perceived levels of difficulty, supporters thought people with RP had more difficulty with administrative tasks and domestic chores than those with RP did, and less difficulty with goals relating to communicating with people.
We hope that this paper highlights some areas where people with RP, and their supporters, may benefit from more assistance in addition to traditional orientation and mobility skills. We would highlight work related activities, central visual tasks for those with more severe loss, and difficulties with communicating with people particularly for those with early loss and those supporting someone with RP.
A particular thank you to all the members of RP Fighting Blindness who took part in this study – we hope that what we have found will be useful to you, and a summary will be on its way to you as soon as possible!
Looking forward to the College of Optometrists’ conference in Brighton at the weekend. Hikmat is presenting the results of her first year’s work as a College postgrad with ‘Towards a functional visual field assessment for low vision’. Sheila has examined the effect of simulation specs on vision in ‘Simulating combined visual acuity and contrast sensitivity loss with Cambridge Simulation Glasses’, and we have then applied the use of these simulation specs to drivers’ vision in ‘Relationship between the two UK driving standards with reduced contrast sensitivity’, extending the findings of our recent BJO paper.
All these posters are hopefully very relevant to clinical practice, and have MCQs that count towards CET points, so please come along for a chat!