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Fang, P. P.; Schnetzer, A.; Kupitz, D. G.; Göbel, A. P.; Kohnen, T.; Reinhard, T.; Lorenz, B.; Hörauf, H.; Wagenfeld, L.; Auffarth, G.; Schaub, F.; Thieme, H.; Livonius, B. von; Alten, F.; Robering, A.; Brandl, C.; Ziemssen, F.; Krummenauer, F.; Holz, F. G.; Finger, R. P. (2017): Ophthalmologische Versorgung in Seniorenheimen. Die OVIS-Studie. In: Ophthalmologe, Vol. 114, Nr. 9: S. 818-827
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Abstract

Due to demographic change and societal transformation the number of elderly persons living in retirement homes is growing in Germany. Access to health care is more complicated in the setting of nursing homes. Different regional studies suggest unmet ophthalmological health care needs in institutionalized elderly people. This study assessed the current ophthalmological health care structure and supply status in nursing homes in Germany. This prospective, multicenter cross-sectional study was conducted by 14 study centers in Germany. Elderly people living in 32 nursing homes were included after approval by the local institutional review boards. A standardized examination was performed which included a detailed medical and ocular history, refraction, visual acuity testing, tonometry, biomicroscopy and dilated funduscopy. Unmet ophthalmological health care needs were documented and the data were analyzed descriptively and via logistic regression modelling. A total of 600 participants (434 women and 166 men) aged 50-104 years were examined of which 368 (61%) had ophthalmological conditions requiring treatment. The most prevalent findings were cataracts (315;53%), disorders of the eyelids (127;21%), dry eye disease (57;10%) and posterior capsule opacification (43;7%). In 63 (11%) of the participants glaucoma was suspected and 55 (9%) of the examined population had a known diagnosis of glaucoma, of whom one third was not on any or on insufficient anti-glaucomatous therapy. 236 (39%) showed signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Only 52% of the examined cohort had been examined by an ophthalmologist within the last 5 years and 39% stated that they would currently not be able to consult an ophthalmologist. Reported barriers were mainly transport and lack of support. This study demonstrates considerable unmet ophthalmological health care needs of the institutionalized elderly in Germany. Novel and reformed models of specialist care provision have to be developed.