Ellen Freeman profile picture

Contact Information

Ellen Freeman, PhD
6135625800 x8439
elfreeman@ohri.ca

Research Activities

I am an international expert in the field of ophthalmic epidemiology.  I have three themes of research in this field. The first research theme is to better understand the impact of eye disease on the mobility and the physical, cognitive, and mental health of older patients. The second theme is to generate data on the prevalence of eye disease and visual impairment and their risk factors. The third theme is to develop and test interventions to improve the mobility and health of people with eye disease.

I have had tremendous success at obtaining funding as a principal investigator with 4 CIHR grants, 2 Quebec government grants, a CNIB grant, and two Quebec salary awards. This funding has allowed me to support a highly active research career. I have published over 40 papers and have an h-index of 21. For example, with a 4-year grant from CIHR, I published three papers in Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science on the mobility and health problems of people with age-related eye disease.  My team and I found a high rate of depressive symptoms and reduced cognitive function in people with age-related eye disease.  Another 3-year grant from CIHR allowed me to examine the problem of vision loss in the World Health Survey, a large, population-based dataset of 250,000 people from 70 countries. I recently published a paper in PLoS ONE on the prevalence of visual difficulty in each country and its associated risk factors.  

Current research efforts are focused on developing a self-care intervention to reduce depressive symptoms in people with age-related eye disease and in understanding why older adults with eye disease have reduced cognitive function.  

I am well-known within Canada and internationally for my expertise as an eye disease epidemiologist. I am frequently asked to review grants for CIHR, FRQS Vision Research Network, CNIB, and Prevent Blindness America. I also sit on the Research Committee of CNIB, a national low vision rehabilitation agency headquartered in Toronto. I am a review editor at Ophthalmic Epidemiology.