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The positive effects of sports participation on health can be an important issue for rehabilitation of visually impaired individuals. Our aim was to determine the relationship between sports participation and quality of life in individuals with visual impairment. The study included 100 athletes who participated in national games for people with visual impairment and 100 subjects who did not participate in sports as the control group. The two groups were matched according to age, gender, visual acuity and visual field. The Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) was applied for assessment of quality of life. All subjects had best corrected visual acuity less than 6/60 and/or visual field less than central 10 degrees in radius in the better eye. The sociodemographic characteristics of the study and control groups were similar except the level of education being higher in the athlete group and level of income higher in the control group. All of the SF-36 scores were higher among athletes compared to controls. Duration of sports activities (years) was positively correlated with Physical Functioning score. There were no significant relations between SF-36 scores and weekly sports participation time (hours). Athletes who had visual loss at an earlier age had better scores in Physical Functioning and Role Limitations due to Physical Problems. Sports activities had positive relationships with all domains of the quality of life in individuals with visual impairment. Thus, appropriate sports activities would increase the success of rehabilitation programs and their quality of life.


Bayazit Ilhan, Aysun Idil, Inci Ilhan. Sports participation and quality of life in individuals with visual impairment. Irish journal of medical science. 2021 Feb;190(1):429-436

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PMID: 32583312

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