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“Why would I want to go out?”: Age-related Vision Loss and Social Participation

  • Debbie Laliberte Rudman (a1), Deborah Gold (a2), Colleen McGrath (a1), Biljana Zuvela (a3), Marlee M. Spafford (a4) and Rebecca Renwick (a5)...


Social participation, a key determinant of healthy aging, is often negatively impacted by age-related vision loss (ARVL). This grounded theory study aimed to understand social participation as a process negotiated in everyday life by older adults with ARVL. Interviews, audio diaries, and life space maps were used to collect data with 21 older adults in two Ontario cities. Inductive data analysis resulted in a transactional model of the process of negotiating social participation in context. This model depicts how environmental features and resources, skills and abilities, and risks and vulnerabilities transacted with values and priorities to affect if and how social participation occurred within the context of daily life. The findings point to several ways that research and services addressing the social participation of older adults with ARVL need to expand, particularly in relation to environmental features and resources, risk, and the prioritization of independence.

La participation sociale, un élément déterminant du vieillissement en santé, est souvent liée négativement par une perte de vision à l’âge (PVA). Cette étude de théorie ancrée visait à comprendre la participation sociale comme un processus négocié dans la vie quotidienne par les adultes âgés souffrant de PVA. Les entrevues, les agendas audio et les cartes de la vie-espace ont servi à recueillir des données avec 21 aînés dans deux villes de l’Ontario. Les données, qui ont été analysées par induction, ont indiqué un modèle transactionnel du processus de négocier la participation sociale dans le contexte. Ce modèle illustre comment les caractéristiques et les ressources de l’environnement, les compétences et les habiletés, et les risques et les vulnérabilités interagissent avec les valeurs et les priorités d’affecter si et comment la participation sociale s’est produite dans le cadre de la vie quotidienne. Les conclusions soulignent plusieurs façons dont la recherche et les services s’adressant à la participation sociale des personnes âgées qui donnent signe de souffrir de la PVA ont besoin de développer, en particulier en ce qui concerne les caractéristiques de l’environnement et les ressources, le risque, et la priorisation de l’indépendance.


Corresponding author

La correspondance et les demandes de tire-à-part doivent être adressées à : / Correspondence and requests for offprints should be sent to: Debbie Laliberte Rudman School of Occupational Therapy & Graduate Program in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences The University of Western Ontario Elborn College 1201 Western Road London, ON N6G 1H1 (


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“Why would I want to go out?”: Age-related Vision Loss and Social Participation

  • Debbie Laliberte Rudman (a1), Deborah Gold (a2), Colleen McGrath (a1), Biljana Zuvela (a3), Marlee M. Spafford (a4) and Rebecca Renwick (a5)...


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