Self-report Questionnaire and Performance Tests to Assess Visual Abilities in Ultra-low Vision

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Unmet Need:   Ultra-low vision (ULV) is defined as levels of vision that are so limited that an individual cannot even recognize shapes, but may be able to see movement, direction of a light source, or tell night from day.  Standard vision tests such as letter charts are of no use to measure the visual abilities of these individuals, and until recently few if any tools were available to test them.  Due to emerging new treatments such as gene therapy, electronic retinal implants, and stem cell technology, and in view of the likelihood that individuals with ULV will be the participants of choice for early trials of these technologies, it is becoming increasingly important to quantify ULV.  A new emphasis on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) as tools to quantify visual ability especially those in vision and eye care underscores a need for an effective PRO measurement tool. In the field of vision and eye care, PROs have assumed the form of Visual Functioning Questionnaires (VFQs), in which respondents are asked to rate the difficulty of standardized daily activities. In parallel with PROs, standardized performance measures (PMs) have become popular as surrogates for daily activities. 
Technical Details:  JHU scientists have collected an inventory of data on daily activities for which individuals with Ultra-Low Vision use their rudimentary vision.  JHU scientists have developed a set of standardized performance measures (ULV-PM) on the basis of suitable items in the ULV-VFQ.  These performance measures have been calibrated in a small group of individuals with ULV. The data has been categorized and distilled into a Self-report Questionnaire of 150 questions describing such activities available for licensing from JHU. These Self-report Questionnaires are also available from JHU in shorter subsets of 50 and 23 items.
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Jon Gottlieb
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