What is low vision?; Incidence and causes; Measuring visual performance; The multi disciplinary team in low vision care; Magnification; Increasing object size; Decreasing viewing distance; Real image magnification; Telescopic magnification; Non optical aids; Illumination and lighting; Aids for peripheral field loss; Special techniques; Sensory substitution; Environmental modification and building design; The initial assessment; The examination routine; Prescribing magnification; Training patients in the use of magnifiers; Are low vision aids successful?; The place of low vision in optometric practice
By Christine Dickinson, BSc, PhD, MBCO, Senior Lecturer, Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, University of Manchester, UK
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"Christine Dickinson s book: Low Vision Principles and Practice is much more of a textbook, designed to appeal to students as well as practitioners.... Dr Dickinson, a lecturer at UMIST, assumes less background knowledge in her audience than the north American text and writes in an accessible style. The advantages of a single author in producing a readable textbook are obvious here. It is rare to find a text of this size (over 300 pages of a double column text) and coverage written by a single author in most areas of healthcare. Indeed a single author is often grounds for criticism because no one, it is argued, can be an authority on all aspects of a relatively wide topic. This book is one of the exceptions, the author s attention to detail shining through in all parts of text. Referencing is good throughout.
This text contains a valuable introduction to the UK legislative and practice. It also grounds itself in the functional impairment classification system (ICIDH) initiated by WHO, which in increasingly used in multidisciplinary healthcare, particularly rehabilitation, worldwide. By using this system from the very first chapter, the reader is helped to see low vision care in terms of the consequences of ocular disease to their patient. The assessment of vision and prescription of LVAs in terms of the patient s goals and quality of life follow very well from this. The book divides neatly into two parts the theory in the first and the practical application in the second. This reflects the student s requirements, but may prove unwieldy if the book is to be widely used in the practice environment, where putting practical matters first might be more appropriate. The interweaving of case studies within the clinical procedures section, rather than in a separate chapter as Professor Brilliant s book does (Essentials of Low Vision Practice), has some advantages in facilitating learning. Proximity of case examples to the points they serve to illustrate makes them more effective. However, if the book aspires to be used for reference, their length and mode of presentation makes it difficult to follow the thread of the main text. More thought on text design could have made a clearer distinction between the main text and the case studies.
Functional visual assessment of the patient is well covered, with clear emphasis on the patient s needs and quality of life, and illustration of how their needs and goals can be identified, eg the use of questionnaires and particular questions during history taking... as in Professor Brilliant s book, the patient s emotional and social situations are discussed and identified...
Hidden away at the back is one of the key chapters of the book a guide for a start up low vision service, covering equipment, stock and possible fee arrangements. It highlights the inefficient and bureaucratic system of LVA prescription through the HES that we have discussed in this issue s leader article...
... Dr Dickinson s book is highly recommended a place on students bookshelves. Its UK focus and broad coverage recommend it to practices also."Spectrum Magazine, Issue 59,, February 1999 in a readable style, the book reflects both the patient s and the practitioner s perspectives. [...] The combination of all of this information in one volume makes it essential reading. All students and practitioners, whether already involved in low vision practice or not, will gain from this text. It is worth every penny."The Optician, March 1999 impressive overview of this difficult field."Irish Journal of Medical Science is one of the larger texts on this important subject and stands out splendidly among a large number of recent publications. The author draws on a very wide literature, giving references at the end of each of the twenty chapters. Production is good, with many clar figures and photographs,. Some of the charts shown are capable of frequent use. A useful feature is the discussion of actual cases and throughout there is an effort to present practical issues and remedies. Undoubtedly many deeply interested in visual rehabilitation in a whole variety of professions will benefit from this text and manufacturers and suppliers of all sorts of devices should value it for reference."Optical World are relatively few modern texts available on the subject of low vision, particularly originating from the United Kingdom. This book written by an international authority on the subject, is a welcome addition. the text has been organised to cover a large range of relevant subjects. These range from complex and philosophical debates such as attempting to answer the questions what is low vision? and are low vision aids successful? to more tangible topics, for example, calculating magnification in clinical practice.
The concept of a multi disciplinary approach is absolutely essential in visual rehabilitation and this is fully described.
Overall, this is an excellent textbook. It is comprehensive, carefully laid out and well illustrated. This text should be essential reading for all concerned in this area, both at postgraduate and undergraduate levels." M P Rubinstein, PhD FCOptom FAAO,Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital