Older adults in the U.S. from minority ethnic groups reported less use of low vision devices compared to white individuals.
In the cross-sectional survey, researchers determined whether sociodemographic or economic factors were associated with self-reported use of low vision devices or low vision rehabilitation.
Participants included 3,058 Medicare beneficiaries 65 years and older with self-reported vision impairment from the National Health Interview Survey vision supplement from the 2002, 2008 and 2016 data.
Low vision device users were significantly older and more likely to be white than nonusers, while vision rehabilitation users were older than nonusers.
For Hispanic individuals, the adjusted odds ratio of using a low vision device was significantly lower, at 0.61, and the odds ratio for individuals of other races/ethnicities was 0.39.
Researchers found no significant difference in the likelihood of reporting vision rehabilitation between racial/ethnic groups.
Black, Hispanic and adults of other races/ethnicities were all less likely to report using low vision devices.
Additionally, they reported that low vision device use was not significantly associated with sex, educational attainment or income as a percent of the federal poverty level in any of the study models.
“If the associations from this study are confirmed, coverage of low vision devices by Medicare may help address a significant health care disparity in the use of this evidence-based intervention,” researchers wrote. – by Abigail Sutton
Disclosures: Choi reported no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the full study for all remaining authors’ financial disclosures.