Cochrane Summaries

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Community screening for visual impairment in the elderly

Smeeth LL, Iliffe S
Published Online: 
16 July 2008

Visual impairment is common among older people and is associated with falls and reduced quality of life. Visual problems in older people are often not reported to medical services. Screening has been recommended because vision could be improved by encouraging treatment in the majority of older people with impaired vision. The review found five studies in which vision was tested as part of a broader screening assessment. No improvement in vision was seen two to four years after screening compared to elderly people who were not screened. This may be due to the lack of a clear plan of intervention for visual problems found on screening. In another study, the risk of having visual impairment in either eye was similar with universal and targeted screening, three to five years after screening.

This record should be cited as: 
Smeeth LL, Iliffe S. Community screening for visual impairment in the elderly. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001054. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001054.pub2
Assessed as up to date: 
24 April 2008
Health topics: