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Registry of Systematic Reviews - Search Results

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1. Citation: Virgili, G., & Acosta, R. (2006). Reading aids for adults with low vision. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 4, CD003303
Keywords: vision, low vision, vision low, visually impaired, vision disorders, sensory aids
Abstract: Background: The purpose of low vision rehabilitation is to allow people to resume or to continue to perform daily living tasks, reading being one of the most important. This is achieved by providing appropriate optical devices and special training in the use of residual vision and low vision aids, which range from simple optical magnifiers to high power video magnifiers.

Objectives: The objective of this review was to assess the effects of reading aids for adults with low vision.

Search strategy: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group Trials Register) in The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, SIGLE, LILACS, IndMed to July 2006 and the reference lists of relevant articles. We used the Science Citation Index to find articles that cited the included studies and contacted investigators and manufacturers of low vision aids. We handsearched the British Journal of Visual Impairment from 1983 to 1999 and the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness from 1976 to 1991.

Selection criteria: This review included randomised and quasi-randomised trials in which any device or aid used for reading had been compared to another device or aid in people aged 16 or over with low vision as defined by the study investigators.

Data collection and analysis: Each author independently assessed trial quality and extracted data.

Main results: Eight small studies with a cross-over design (221 people overall) and one three parallel-arm study (243 participants) were included in the review.

The cross-over studies evaluated various types of aids. The quality of the studies was unclear in most cases, especially concerning carry-over or period effects. In one study on 20 participants head-mounted electronic devices (four types) were worse than optical devices. We could not find any differences in comparisons among electronic devices when pooling 23 participants of two small studies. One study on 10 people found that overlay coloured filters were no better than a clear filter.

A parallel-arm study including 243 patients with age-related macular degeneration found that custom or standard prism spectacles are not different from conventional near spectacles, but the estimated difference was not precise.

Authors' conclusions: Further research is needed on the comparison of different types of low vision aids. It will be also necessary to delineate patients' characteristics that predict performance with costly electronic devices as well as their sustained use in the long term compared to simpler and cheaper optical devices.
Plain Language Summary:

Magnifying reading devices or aids for adults with low vision

The number of people with low vision is increasing with the aging population. Magnifying optical and electronic aids are commonly prescribed to help people maintain take care of, keep, keep up the ability skill, are able, can to read when their vision starts to fade, but still have some ability skill, are able, can to see. We reviewed the evidence for the effect result, cause of reading aids on reading ability skill, are able, can in people with low vision, with the aim of investigating whether there are differences in reading performance using conventional optical devices, such as hand-held or stand-based microscopic magnifiers, as compared to telescopic optical devices, or electronic devices such as stand-based, closed-circuit television and hand-held electronic magnifiers. The searches covered studies published until January 2013.

We found 10 studies (424 participants) comparing reading performance, mainly reading speed, in adults who are followed in low vision services. Most people were affected by macular a spot on your cornea; eye disease, blindness degeneration, which causes loss of central vision and is often age-related.

Results from small studies of moderate medium, mild, controllable or low quality were inconclusive, although they suggested faster reading speed with stand-based or hand-held electronic devices compared to stand-mounted or hand-held optical magnifiers. They also suggested that head-mounted electronic devices performed less well than optical magnifiers. The technology and versatility of electronic devices may have developed and improved since these trials were conducted between 1991 and 2005.

One study suggested that prism spectacles, or special glasses which are sometimes prescribed to try to help people with central visual loss to see objects outside their blind spot areas, were no more effective works well, good, strong than conventional spectacles for people with age-related macular a spot on your cornea; eye disease, blindness degeneration.

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Record Updated:2016-08-03

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