Short-term in-office practice improves reading performance with stand magnifiers for people with AMD

Ming Yan Cheong, Jan E. Lovie-Kitchin, Alex R. Bowers, Brian Brown

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose. People with low vision often use optical low vision aids to assist reading. There have been numerous training programs recommended to train people using magnifiers for reading. However, most of the programs are time consuming and labor intensive. In this study, we investigated the effects of home-based large print reading practice on reading performance when stand magnifiers (STM's) are first prescribed. Methods. Thirty-two subjects with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and with minimal experience in using magnifiers for reading were recruited. They were divided into three groups: control, practice 1 (P1), and practice 2 (P2). Before the prescription of STM's, all the subjects were given the same amount of in-office practice with the STM (weeks 0 to 2). In addition, in these 2 weeks, P1 and P2 subjects were given large print books to read daily at home. P2 subjects were required to read the large print books through a reduced field of view. The control group subjects received no additional reading practice. Reading rates with and without STM's on passages of text were assessed for all the subjects regularly for 20 weeks. Results. There were no significant differences between the control, P1, and P2 groups in the increase in reading rate with STM (p = 0.29). At week 0, reading rate for small print with STM was significantly slower than reading rate on the equivalent-sized large print (p = 0.004); however, as time went on, reading rate with STM's increased significantly (p = 0.02). After 2 weeks of in-office magnifier practice and repeated measures of reading rate with STM, reading rate with STM had improved such that it was not significantly different from reading rate on large print (p = 0.11). Conclusion. Supervised, short-term, in-office practice with the magnifier was effective in improving magnifier reading performance to achieve maximum reading rate. Additional large print reading practice did not result in any greater improvement in reading rate than in-office magnifier practice alone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-127
Number of pages14
JournalOptometry and Vision Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • AMD
  • Reading
  • Reading rate
  • Stand magnifiers
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Optometry


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