Facilitators and barriers to participation in mental well-being programs by older Australians with vision impairment

community and stakeholder perspectives

Lisa Dillon*, Diana Tang, Gerald Liew, Maree Hackett, Ashley Craig, Bamini Gopinath, Lisa Keay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: Older adults with vision impairment experience high rates of mental health problems, but very few access psychological support. We investigated community and stakeholder perspectives of the barriers and facilitators to participation in mental well-being programs for older adults with vision impairment. Methods: Adults aged ≥ 50 years with vision impairment (community) were recruited from the client database, and low vision rehabilitation (LVR) professionals (stakeholders) from staff of a LVR provider. Participants completed one-on-one semi-structured interviews, which were designed and analyzed using behavior change theory. Results: Twenty-nine participants were interviewed; 16 community members and 13 stakeholders. Both groups cited mental health problems as a major concern, with many stakeholders reporting the grief and distress associated with vision loss experienced by their clients as having a negative impact on their mental and physical health. Major barriers to participation in mental well-being programs included a lack of awareness and difficulties accessing such programs, with stakeholders adding that their clients’ lack of insight into their own mental health problems may reduce motivation to participate. Facilitators to participation in programs included the appeal of social interaction and inspirational speakers. An appropriate intervention could overcome these barriers, or enhance participation through education, persuasion, incentivisation, modeling, environmental restructuring, training, and enablement. Conclusions: While barriers were discussed more than facilitators to participation, there was general support for mental well-being programs. This study provides guidance from stakeholders for the development of mental well-being programs to address mental health problems in the growing number of older adults with vision impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1287-1295
Number of pages9
Issue number7
Early online date28 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

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