Background: Visual impairment (VI) and hearing impairment (HI) are the two most common types of sensory disability encountered clinically. However, VI and HI result in different limitations in daily life. We assessed the level of functioning in patients with VI or HI based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health. Methods: This nationwide, cross-sectional study included 312 people with VI and 540 people with HI. Each participant's degree of functioning and disability was evaluated using the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0). The standardized WHODAS 2.0 scores ranged from 0 (least difficulty) to 100 (most difficulty). Results: Patients with VI and those with HI had a mean (±standard error) 32-item WHODAS 2.0 score of 42.4 ± 2.9 and 27.1 ± 1.6, respectively. The degree of restriction was positively related to the level of VI. Specifically, the patients with VI and a WHODAS 2.0 score of 33.7-35.3 or higher were likely to experience barriers to accessing mobility products, communication products, and education products. Furthermore, patients with a score of 42.9 or higher might experience barriers to accessing ingestion products and living products. Conclusion: WHODAS 2.0 scores are strongly correlated with the severity of VI. Mild VI should be targeted for treatment and referral as early as possible. Compared with the patients with HI, the patients with VI more frequently experience barriers to accessing environmental factors.
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Chang, K. F., Chang, K. H., Chi, W. C., Huang, S. W., Yen, C. F., Liao, H. F., Liou, T. H., Chao, P. Z., & Lin, I. C. (2018). Influence of visual impairment and hearing impairment on functional dependence status among people in Taiwan-An evaluation using the WHODAS 2.0 score. Journal of the Chinese Medical Association, 81(4), 376-382. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcma.2017.08.011