Programm                 "Degeneration und Regeneration– Grundlagen, Diagnostik und Therapie"

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Degenerative and Regenerative Aspects of Blindness Assessment

Gräf M., Plag M.
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Gießen

Purpose: An analysis of the applications for blindness compensation granted in 1996 in Hessen detected severe shortcomings of the certificates of blindness (Ophthalmologe 1998; 95: S 108). To get knowledge on the rejected applications, we compared the certificates of blindness with the medical test results of all 118 persons examined by the superintendent for blindness concerns in 2002 (6 % of the applications, 30% of the testimonial examinations in Hessen 2002).
Method: The ratings as blind or severely visually handicapped (within the meaning of the law, a visual handicap corresponding to a visual acuity of not more than 0.02 or 0.05, resp.) were compared. If the result of the medical test differed from the certificate, visual acuity, visual field, further findings, and the methods of assessment were analysed on the basis of the medical records.
Results: The medical test confirmed 75 certificates. Fifteen individuals with a certificate of blindness were graded as severely visually handicapped by the medical test. In 8 and 12 cases, respectively, the criteria of neither blindness nor severe visual handicap were fullfilled. Striking differences occurred between the visual functions attested in the certificate and the functions shown in the medical test.
Conclusions: In 35 of all cases (30%), the visual handicap did not reach the certified grade. In the certificates, the declared visual handicap was judged to correspond to the ob

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