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Use of electronic devices by people attending vision rehabilitation services in Italy: A study based on the device and aids registry (D.A.Re)

Bartolomei, F., Costanzo, E., Parravano, M. , Hogg, R. E., Lawrenson, J. G. ORCID: 0000-0002-2031-6390, Falchini, E., Di Simone, A., Pastore, V., Mastrantuono, C., Sato, G., Amore, F., Biagini, I., Ciaffoni, G. L., Tettamanti, M. & Virgili, G. (2023). Use of electronic devices by people attending vision rehabilitation services in Italy: A study based on the device and aids registry (D.A.Re). European Journal of Ophthalmology, 34(3), pp. 789-796. doi: 10.1177/11206721231200376


To investigate the characteristics of electronic device users, specifically smartphones and tablets, in the Device & Aids Register (D.A.Re), from several low-vision rehabilitation services in Italy.

We collected general and clinical information about ocular and systemic diseases, visual function, reading speed and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) questionnaire score. Technological details of each optical and electronic device, (including screen size, touch-screen and OCR functions, text-to-speech function) were also collected.

1218 patients (752 females and 466 males) were included in our analysis, mean age 71.5 (±18.8) years. Users of electronic aids (n.237) were slightly younger (67 vs 72 years, p < 0.001) than non-users (n.981), had a worse reading speed (38 vs 65 words/minute), critical print size (43 vs 28 print size, p < 0.001), poorer visual acuity (VA)(1.0 logMAR or less: 30% non-users vs 73% users, p < 0.001) and more commonly visual field restriction within 10° (23% vs 14%, p = 0.001). A similar proportion of users and non-users were retired (about 70%) and about 16–17% were employed. The use of portable electronic devices (5″or less, p < 0.001; 6″ to 18″ screen size, p = 0.017) was associated with better IADL scores, and the use of stand devices with worse IADL score (p < 0.001); Furthermore, using smartphones and tablets (193 subjects) was strongly associated with better IADL scores.

We found that using electronic devices, and especially smartphone and tablets, were associated with better vision-related quality of life in low-vision people attending rehabilitation services. While this association does not mean causality, these findings seemed robust to confounder adjustment.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 202, the authors.
Publisher Keywords: Electronic devices, registry, rehabilitation, low vision
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DG Italy
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
T Technology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
SWORD Depositor:
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