College of Health staff

Prof Steven LaGrow staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (06) 356 9099  ext. 83508

Prof Steven LaGrow BS, MA, Ed.D, Sociology and Political Science, Blind Rehabilitation, Special Education, Vision Impairment

PBRF Expert

College of Health

Steve La Grow is the Professor of Rehabilitation and Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor in the College of Health. He has over 35  years of experience teaching and researching in the area of rehabilitation for those who are blind or have low vision. His  research focuses primarily on the rehabilitation of those who have experienced late onset vision impairment with a particular emphasis on interventions designed to restore losses in orientation and mobility (O&M), the most disabling consequences associated with vision impairment and blindness. His research has addressed most issues that affect the quality of life of persons who are blind or visually impaired, and more recently, on older people in general.  Steve has recieved a number of honors for his work in this field including being presented with the Lawrence E. Blaha Memorial Award from Division Nine (O&M) of the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AERBVI) in 2006, the highest honor that Division can bestow, and being inducted into Western Michigan University’s (WMU) Blindness and Low Vision Studies Outstanding Alumni Academy in 2003.  He has been awarded the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Award for Distinction in Research in 2009, and as a member of the Health and Aging Research Team, the Massey University Research Team Award in 2012.   

Steve is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness and has served  on the editorial boards of the AER Journal: Research and Practice in Visual Impairment and Blindness, the Open Rehabilitation Journal, the International Journal of Orientation and Mobility, the Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling, the Journal of Rehabilitation and Health, and the New Zealand Journal of Disability Studies.  He is also regularly asked to review articles  for the journals Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, Disability and Rehabilitation, and Quality of life Research.  Over the years he has reviewed research proposals  for the National Institute for Health Research for the United Kingdom, Insight Programme of the Netherlands’ Organisation for Health Research and Development [ZonMw], the Health Research Council of New Zealand, Lottery Health (New Zealand) and the Rehabilitation Research and Development Center, Department of Veterans Affairs in the USA.

He is currently engaged in health and ageing research with a particular interest in the ways that ability to get around and satisfaction with fucnctional capacity impacts on percieved quality of life among older persons.

Steve La Grow is the Professor of Rehabilitation and Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor in the College of Health. He has over 30 years of experience teaching and researching in the area of rehabilitation for those who are blind or have low vision. His  research focuses on the rehabilitation of those who have experienced late onset vision impairment with a particular emphasis on interventions designed to restore losses in orientation and mobility (O&M), the most disabling consequences associated with vision impairment.

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Professional

Qualifications

  • BS - Western Michigan University (1975)
  • MA - Western Michigan University (1976)
  • Ed.D. - Western Michigan University (1982)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

His research interests focus on those factors which affect the qualify of life (QOL) of persons who are blind or have low vision. He is particularly interested in interventions which seek to enhance subjective QOL following the onset of a significant vision impairment and most specifically those which affect the ability to get around built environments safely and independently.

Thematics

Health and Well-being

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Medical And Health Sciences (110000): Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified (119999): Other Medical and Health Sciences (119900)

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 0 1
Team Member 0 1

Completed Projects

Project Title: Loneliness in older persons

Age, sex and health status appear to affect rates of loneliness with women, older adults and those in poor health being at greatest risk. Loneliness in older adults is closely linked to poor physical and mental health. The aim of this study was to identify the rate, degree and impact of loneliness in a group of older community dwelling New Zealanders. A cross-sectional postal survey was used to collect self-reported data on loneliness, physical and mental health, age, sex and marital status. The survey was sent to a random sample of 700 community dwelling older adults aged 65 years and over. Three hundred and thirty two surveys were used in the data analytic phase of the study. Eight percent of the sample was found to be severely lonely, 44% moderately lonely and 48% not lonely. Participants were assigned to the above three levels of loneliness and were compared according to age, sex, marital status and health. The groups were found to differ on physical and mental health but not on age, sex or marital status. Consequently, those who were in the severely lonely and moderately lonely groups had lower physical and mental health scores when compared to those in the not lonely group.
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Date Range: 2007 - 2008

Funding Body: Massey University

Project Team:

Supervision and Teaching

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • 2015 - Vivien Rodgers - Doctor of Philosophy
    Satisfaction with Life and Social Comparison among Older People
  • 2013 - Phatcha Hirunwatthanakul - Doctor of Philosophy
    The impact of visual impairment on quality of life among older persons in rural Northeast Thailand
  • 2006 - Bruce Kent - Doctor of Philosophy
    The Role of Hope in Adjustment to Acquired Hearing Loss.
  • 2006 - Gretchen Good - Doctor of Philosophy
    Ageing and Visual Impairment: Activity, Independence and Life Satisfaction.

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2013 - Alison Pirret - Doctor of Philosophy
    Nurse practitioner diagnostic reasoning
  • 2011 - Supaporn Sudnongbua - Doctor of Philosophy
    Feelings of abandonment among elderly people in Northeastern Thailand
  • 2007 - Pitsini Mongkhonsiri - Doctor of Philosophy
    The Mindful Self: Sense of Self and Health-Promoting Lifestyle Behaviours among Thai College Women
  • 2005 - Janice Lloyd - Doctor of Philosophy
    Exploring the Match between People and their Guide Dogs.
  • 2004 - Wendy Williams - Doctor of Philosophy
    Assistive Computer Technology and Empowerment: The Vocational Experiences of Blind and Visually Impaired New Zealanders.
  • 1997 - Herbert Biggs - Doctor of Philosophy
    A Validation of the Rehabilitation Skills Inventory in four Australasian Rehabilitation Organisations and its relationship with Occupational Measures.

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