Observational Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2018. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Psychiatr. Mar 22, 2018; 8(1): 43-50
Published online Mar 22, 2018. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v8.i1.43
Bullying among people with visual impairment: Prevalence, associated factors and relationship to self-efficacy and life satisfaction
Audun Brunes, Morten B Nielsen, Trond Heir
Audun Brunes, Section for Trauma, Catastrophes and Migration - Adults, Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies, Oslo 0409, Norway
Morten B Nielsen, Department of Work Psychology and Physiology, National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo 0363, Norway
Trond Heir, Department of Trauma and Migration, Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies, Oslo 0484, Norway
Trond Heir, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo 0315, Norway
Author contributions: Brunes A contributed to data analysis, interpretation, writing of article and format editing; Nielsen MB contributed to interpretation, writing and final approval of article; Heir T contributed to study conception, study design, data analysis and interpretation, writing and final approval of article.
Supported by the European Commission, Directorate - General Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, No. ECHO/SUB/2015/718665/PREP17. This research study is a part of the European Network for Psychosocial Crisis Management-Assisting Disabled in Case of Disaster (EUNAD); www.eunad-info.eu.
Institutional review board statement: The Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics gave permission to carry out the study in accordance with procedures for anonymized data (Reference number: 2016/1615A).
Informed consent statement: All participants gave their informed consent to take part in the study.
Conflict-of-interest statement: No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.
Data sharing statement: Data are from the research project European Network for Psychosocial Crisis Management - Assisting Disabled in Case of Disaster (EUNAD). Public availability may comprise privacy of the respondents. According to the informed consent given by each respondent, the data is to be stored properly and in line with the Norwegian Law of Privacy Protection. However, anonymized data is available to researchers who provide a methodological sound proposal in accordance with the informed consent of the respondents. Interested researchers can contact project leader Trond Heir (trond.heir@medisin.uio.no) with request for our study data.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Correspondence to: Audun Brunes, PhD, Research Scientist, Department of Trauma and Migration, Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies, Pb 181 Nydalen, Oslo 0409, Norway. audun.brunes@nkvts.no
Telephone: +47-97578629
Received: October 30, 2017
Peer-review started: October 31, 2017
First decision: December 8, 2017
Revised: December 19, 2017
Accepted: February 4, 2018
Article in press: February 4, 2018
Published online: March 22, 2018

To examine associated factors of bullying and to determine associations between bullying and psychosocial outcomes among individuals with visual impairments (VI).


We conducted an age-stratified cross-sectional survey of adults with VI who were recruited from the Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted. Data were collected through structural telephone interviews in the period between February and May, 2017. Linear regression models were used to examine factors related to bullying and associations of bullying with self-efficacy and life satisfaction.


A total of 736 individuals were interviewed. The lifetime and 6-mo prevalence of bullying was 41.7% and 8.2%, respectively. The majority of bullied participants reported VI-specific bullying (65.1%). Victimization of bullying was associated with young age, early onset-age of VI, and having other impairments. Participants who reported bullying had lower levels of self-efficacy [Adjusted relative risk (ARR): 0.40, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.19-0.85] and life satisfaction (ARR: 0.68, 95%CI: 0.51-0.91).


Bullying is highly prevalent among individuals with VI. Our findings suggest that interventions to reduce bullying may be beneficial for improving the well-being and life quality of people with VI.

Keywords: Blindness, Bullying, Life satisfaction, Risk factors, Self-efficacy, Victim, Visual impairment

Core tip: People with impairments are at risk of social exclusion. A high rate of bullying of people with visual impairment (VI) demonstrates how deviations from the social norm can lead to sanctions from the environment. The more different, the higher the risk of bullying, illustrated by the fact that people with functional impairments in addition to VI were even more prone to bullying. For those who are victimized, the consequences may be serious in terms of lower self-esteem and lower quality of life. A continuous focus on bullying is necessary to protect people with VI from bullying.