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Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy

Print version ISSN 1413-3555On-line version ISSN 1809-9246


LUIZ, Lívia C.; REBELATTO, José R.; COIMBRA, Arlete M.V.  and  RICCI, Natalia A.. Association between visual deficit and clinical-functional characteristics among community-dwelling older adults. Rev. bras. fisioter. [online]. 2009, vol.13, n.5, pp.444-450.  Epub Sep 11, 2009. ISSN 1809-9246.

OBJECTIVE: To identify functional factors associated with visual deficits among community-dwelling older adults. METHODS: Ninety-six older adults were assessed for visual acuity by means of the Snellen Eye Chart and categorized as low vision (visual acuity < 0.3) or normal vision (visual acuity >0.3). The functional factors analyzed were the number of falls, presence of eye diseases, mental health according to the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), functional status in daily activities according to the Brazilian OARS Multidimensional Functional Assessment Questionnaire (BOMFAQ) and functional mobility according to the Timed Up & Go Test (TUG). Inferential analysis was performed using the chi-square test, Mann-Whitney test and Spearman correlation coefficient, taking α=0.05. RESULTS: Low vision was found in 17.7% (n=17) of the older adults. Compared to the older adults with normal vision, those with low vision had more advanced age (p<0.001) and more eye and adnexa diseases (p=0.023), higher scores for depressed mood (p=0.002), worse balance in the TUG (p=0.003) and higher numbers of impaired instrumental activities of daily living (p=0.009). Lower visual acuity was correlated with more advanced age, greater number of falls, greater number of impaired activities and longer time spent on the TUG. CONCLUSIONS: The visually impaired older adults in this sample showed greater functional impairment. The data from the present study will contribute to the development of physical therapy assessments that can identify functional limitations among visually impaired older adults and thus establish a better therapeutic plan for resolving the daily difficulties of these individuals.

Keywords : visual acuity; low vision; activities of daily living; mobility limitation; older adult.

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