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February 2005

Promoting Social Science Collaboration With Ophthalmology

Arch Ophthalmol. 2005;123(2):285-286. doi:10.1001/archopht.123.2.285-d

An outstanding collaboration of experts in medical and closely related disciplines has generated prevalence estimates of eye diseases and severe visual impairment for the United States. As the April 2004 issue of the ARCHIVES emphasized, those estimates reveal a significant public health issue.1

The public health perspective expands the scope of needed scientific knowledge beyond prevalence and incidence of eye disease and visual impairment to factors that create disabling consequences, given that half the prevalence of visual impairment is estimated as not preventable.2 Environmental design (eg, assistive technology to access print) and rehabilitation (eg, training in non–vision-dependent skills) epitomize the public health intervention model to minimize disabling aspects of visual impairment.