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Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Volume 2010, Article ID 503817, 9 pages
Research Article

Recent Visual Decline—A Health Hazard with Consequences for Social Life: A Study of Home Care Clients in 12 Countries

1Department of Nursing, Diakonhjemmet University College, P.O. Box 184, Vinderen, 0319 Oslo, Norway
2National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), P.O. Box 30, 00271 Helsinki, Finland
3Department of Health Studies & Gerontology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1
4Geriatric Unit, Medical Department, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, P.O. Box 23, Vinderen, 0319 Oslo, Norway
5Institute of Internal Medicine, University of Bergen, 5020 Bergen, Norway

Received 12 October 2009; Accepted 17 June 2010

Academic Editor: Irene Rea

Copyright © 2010 Else Vengnes Grue et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Information about recent visual decline (RVD) and its consequences is limited. The aim was to investigate this in an observational, prospective study. Participants were recipients of community home services, 65 years, from Ontario (Canada, ), Finland (the-RAI-database, STAKES, ), and 10 other European countries (the-Aged-in-HOmeCarestudy (AdHOC), ). The instrument RAI-HC version 2.0 was used in all sites. RVD was assessed by the item “Worsening of vision compared to status 90 days ago” and was present in 6–49% in various sites, more common among persons living alone, and in females. In the AdHOC sample, RVD was independently associated with declining social activity and limited outdoors activities due to fear of falling. The combination of stable vision impairment (SVI) and RVD was independently associated with IADL loss. RVD is common and has greater impact than SVI on social life and function. Caregivers should be particularly aware of RVD, its consequences, and help patients to seek assessments, treatment, and rehabilitation.