Quality of Life of Visually Impaired Adolescents in Metro Manila

INTRODUCTION

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), quality of life (QOL) is ―an individual‘s perception of his/her position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which he/she lives, and in relation to his/her goals, expectations, standards and concerns.‖1 The Occupational Therapy (OT) Practice Framework defines quality of life as "a person's dynamic appraisal of his or her life satisfactions (perceptions of progress towards one's goals), selfconcept (the composite of beliefs and feelings about oneself), health and functioning (including health status, self-care capabilities, role competence) and the socioeconomic factors (e.g. vocation, education income)".2 It is one type of outcome, which may be focused on during the process of occupational therapy.2 (4) By measuring QOL, progress (or non-progress) may be seen and goals and interventions may prioritized. Testa, M & Simonson, D. referred to quality of life as perceptions of health because the researchers considered it as a domain of health that is influenced by the person‘s experiences, beliefs, expectations, and perceptions.3
Visual impairment (VI) is defined by New York State Dept. of Health (NYSDOH) as ―the loss of some aspect of vision that reduces an individual‘s ability to see‖ caused by either the damage in the eye itself or the visual nervous system‖.4 In the Philippines, there are 942,098 people estimated to be afflicted with visual impairment, as of the year 2005.5 Visual impairment is a particular interest to researchers since it is closely associated with having decreased functioning, social exclusion, high risk for poor social and emotional adaptation as vision plays an important role in the mobility, socialization and functioning. Therapists may employ a multimodal oriented approach in management for optimal performance in self care, IADL, education, play and work. With this in mind, there is a need to determine how QOL is affected by visual impairment. (full download)