Knowledge about self-efficacy and its significance for the quality of life of people with visual impairment is lacking. The aims of the study were to compare general self-efficacy in individuals with visual impairment with the general population, and to investigate the association between self-efficacy and life satisfaction.
A telephone-based cross-sectional survey was conducted between January and May 2017 in a probability sample of adults who were members of the Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted. Participants were asked questions about their sociodemographic characteristics, characteristics of vision loss, general self-efficacy (General Self-efficacy Scale), and life satisfaction (Cantril’s Ladder of Life Satisfaction). We obtained norm data from a representative survey of the general Norwegian population (N = 1792; mean age 53.2 years; 52.5% females).
People with visual impairment had higher levels of general self-efficacy than people in the general population (Mean: 31.5 versus 29.0, p < .001). Results from linear regression analyses of the visual impairment population showed that higher education and residential in an urban municipality were associated with higher self-efficacy. Having additional impairments and a previous history of physical or sexual assaults were associated with lower self-efficacy. A linear dose-response relationship was found between self-efficacy and life satisfaction, in the visual impairment population as well as in the general population.
People with visual impairment have higher self-efficacy than people in the general population, possibly due to extensive mastery experience in how to handle life as visually impaired. Self-efficacy seems to be important in achieving the best possible life.