Elderly Bedouins and Jews in Israel: the effects of visual impairment on perceived functional and health status. Academic Article uri icon


  • Age-related vision impairment is a major cause of functional limitations in mobility and independent living. Research findings suggest that vision impairment in later life affects social, emotional, mental as well as physical well-being, and daily functioning. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between ethnicity and visual problems, i.e., whether Bedouin and Jewish elderly persons differed in terms of visual impairment prevalence and the extent to which visual impairment affected their ability to perform activities of everyday life. This study sampled 88 Bedouin and 111 Jewish elderly persons aged 60 and older in the southern region of Israel. The findings show that the majority of the respondents reported visual problems. Bedouin elderly tended to have more problems with distance sight as a result of living conditions than Jewish elderly. In terms of ability to perform ADL and IADL functions, elderly Bedouins reported more problems. The study findings are discussed in terms of policy and service provision. In addition, recommendations for additional research are presented.

publication date

  • January 1, 2003