Interventions and tools to help improve medication adherence, where visual impairment (capability) has been identified as a factor

Problems with vision

Visual impairment covers a spectrum of sight loss ranging from general visual decline through to blindness.

Top tips for pharmacy to support people with sight loss in managing their medicines provides an overview of support that can be offered to this patient group.

This article details resources available to support adherence associated with visual impairment.

Magnifying glass

Optometrists can supply suitable magnifying glasses. Alternatively, there is a wide range available online.

Large size labels

Guidance from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) suggest using Arial font no smaller than 14. Ideally labels with black bold text on a yellow background are easiest for people with visual impairment to read.

Community pharmacy dispensing systems

Community pharmacy dispensing systems can be used to create large text labels and system providers can demonstrate how to use this functionality.

Other labelling options

A freely accessible service from Translabel, can produce large-print labels, including in other languages. Labels are for use in addition to standard labels as they do not include all the text required by law.

Flagging labels

Using large text may require use of multiple labels which can obscure important details on medicine containers. Flagged labels, available from pharmacy label suppliers, enable larger amounts of information or larger text without obscuring product text.

Braille medication labels

The Reizen-RL 350 Braille Labeller is available from the RNIB shop. This is a labelling machine for producing braille labels. No knowledge of braille is required. Braille labels should not be placed over medication labels.

Tactile or coloured markers

All sorts of things can be used as tactile markers such as rubber bands, stickers or coloured dots.

Bumpons are raised stickers and are available from the RNIB shop, or coloured dots can be purchased from stationary shops.

Audio labelling

Audio labellers are available from the RNIB shop. These enable audio labels to be recorded.

Patient Information Leaflets (PIL)

X-PIL is a free service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week where people can request PILs:

  • in large/clear print
  • in Braille
  • on audio CD

The caller will need to provide the following information:

  • the name of the medicine
  • the medicine’s product code number