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Publication - Dr Jennifer Whillans

    The consequences of self-reported vision change in later-life

    evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

    Citation

    Matthews, K, Nazroo, J & Whillans, JA, 2017, ‘The consequences of self-reported vision change in later-life: evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing’. Public Health Journal, vol 142., pp. 7-14

    Abstract

    Objectives
    Using longitudinal data, we investigate whether deterioration and improvement in self-reported vision among people aged 50 years and older in England experience subsequent changes in various aspects of economic, psychological and social well-being.

    Study design
    Longitudinal random effects modelling.

    Methods
    We used six waves of the biennial English Longitudinal Study of Ageing spanning 2002–2012. Self-reported vision change was classed as an increase or decrease in self-reported level of vision between each wave and effects on depression, satisfaction with life, quality of life, social engagement and equivalized income were examined. Models were adjusted for health, employment and wealth.

    Results
    All well-being outcomes worsened among respondents experiencing deterioration in self-reported vision, and declined most among individuals with the poorest self-reported vision at baseline and follow-up. Results were significant in fully adjusted models for those deteriorating from optimal to suboptimal vision levels. Improvement in self-reported vision was associated with significantly better satisfaction with life, quality of life and social engagement when the improvement was from suboptimal to optimal vision levels.

    Conclusions
    Preventing deterioration in vision is the best means of ensuring well-being is not negatively affected by changes to sight. In addition, ensuring vision problems are corrected where possible may lead to improvements in well-being.

    Full details in the University publications repository