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Exploring Participation in Individuals with Glaucoma

Livengood, Heather (2015) Exploring Participation in Individuals with Glaucoma. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Glaucoma is a progressive, chronic optic neuropathy and a leading cause of blindness in the United States. It is an asymptomatic disease that affects an estimated 2.7 million Americans, of whom only half know they have the disease. As glaucoma severity progresses, people often experience changes in their abilities to engage in social life situations, have reduced confidence and/or avoid situations they once deemed important and pleasurable, and they may alter how they are able to accomplish roles and routines they want to or need to do.

Historically the effects of glaucoma on people’s daily living have been measured in research by vision-specific quality of life (VSQoL), a measure of people’s own perceptions of how glaucoma affects their health, well-being, and quality of living. In vision rehabilitation, one measure of the effect of an ocular disease on people’s abilities to accomplish daily living is participation. Participation is involvement in social life situations. Yet little research has focused on participation as an outcome measure for people with glaucoma. Therefore, the objective of this study was to explore participation in individuals with glaucoma to better understand the relationship between severity of vision loss and the degree to which participation was associated with glaucoma severity.

The aims of this study were to: 1) explore the association between participation and glaucoma severity, 2) explore the relationship between participation and VSQoL, and 3) compare the relationship between participation and VSQoL as each related to glaucoma severity.

We performed correlation analyses and found that participation had a fair association with glaucoma severity and a moderate association with VSQoL. In multiple regression analyses, findings suggested that for individuals who on average had early stage glaucoma, participation and VSQoL were each statistically significant, incremental indicators of glaucoma severity after controlling for covariates. Exploring the effects of glaucoma on participation will inform our understanding of the effects of glaucoma on function and vision-related disability. A unique contribution of this research is its focus on participation and the exploration of participation as a potential indicator of severity of vision loss for people who may be at risk for disability.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Livengood, Heatherhml12@pitt.eduHML12
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBaker, Nancy Anab36@pitt.eduNAB36
Committee MemberBilonick, Richard A.rab45@pitt.eduRAB45
Committee MemberConner, Ian
Committee MemberMcCue, MichaelMMccue@pitt.eduMMCCUE
Committee MemberSkidmore, Elizabethskidmore@pitt.eduSKIDMORE
Date: 26 May 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 4 February 2015
Approval Date: 26 May 2015
Submission Date: 24 March 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 178
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: vision rehabilitation, glaucoma, participation, quality of life
Date Deposited: 26 May 2015 17:47
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:26


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