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Researchers Study Improving Life for Those with Macular Degeneration
URMC researchers are recruiting 400 people, age 60 and up, to help determine whether two education programs improve the way people function in everyday life with Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of irreversible blindness and severe vision loss among older adults.
One education program focuses on learning from the past and paying attention to current medical needs. The other focuses on solving current problems and planning for the future.
“People with Age-related Macular Degeneration face great challenges. We want to determine whether training them to do more effective problem-solving can help them deal more skillfully with the challenges and lead more satisfying lives,” said Silvia Sörensen, Ph.D., assistant professor of Psychiatry and principal investigator for the study.
Sörensen received a $1.8 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to conduct the study, in partnership with the Flaum Eye Institute, the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Retina Associates of Western New York.
The 16-week program includes a low vision assessment, four weekly vision education classes, four assessment interviews provided in the home, eight weekly sessions of in-home training, and four in-home follow-up interviews over two years after completion of the program.
People must be at least 60 years of age with a diagnosis of macular degeneration to take part in the study.
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