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New research to examine wellbeing of blind veterans

Published: 7 August 2019 at 15:30

World-first collaboration will identify how to improve service provision

An innovative research collaboration between Anglia Ruskin University’s Veterans and Families Institute for Military Social Research (VFI) and Blind Veterans UK will look to measure and understand the wellbeing of blind veterans, and aim to address the health economic impact of blind veterans’ wellbeing.

The new collaboration will give researchers and practitioners the opportunity to work with blind veterans to design a study to capture and measure wellbeing across their community. The findings of this research will help to inform better service provision and identify where more targeted work should be aimed.

The research will help to better understand the unique circumstances encountered by the blind veteran community, which is believed to number around 50,000 living in the UK – some of whom lost their sight in combat. 

Amongst the social challenges facing UK veterans are higher than average rates of alcohol misuse and musculoskeletal problems, and higher than average rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among those deployed on the frontline when serving.

Matt Fossey, Director of the VFI, said: 
“I am delighted to announce this collaboration with Blind Veterans UK. Our partnership with them will enable the delivery of research that will have real impact for veterans, their families, friends and support networks. 

“The evidence gathered through this research collaboration will help to shape better services for veterans with sight loss and will inform the policies designed to support some of the most vulnerable members of our armed forces community.”

Dr Renata Gomes, the Head of Research and Innovation at Blind Veterans UK, said: 
“This is a very exciting and promising research collaboration which will benefit our blind veterans. Our blind veterans continue to serve their country, as findings from our research are of relevance and translational value to many other communities.”