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Journal Club
Clinical Paper of the Month - Visual impairment and vision-related quality of life in the Early Manifest Glaucoma Trial after 20 years of follow-up
Visual impairment and vision-related quality of life in the Early Manifest Glaucoma Trial after 20 years of follow-up

Publishing date: June 2016

Author(s): Peters D (1), Heijl A (1), Brenner L (2), Bengtsson B (1)

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Skåne University Hospital, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden.
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Helsingborg University Hospital, Helsingborg, Sweden.

PURPOSE: To determine the association between vision-related quality of life (VRQOL) and levels of visual function loss in the Early Manifest Glaucoma Trial (EMGT).

METHODS: Two hundred and fifty-five patients were included in the EMGT between 1993 and 1997 and followed regularly by ophthalmic examinations. A Swedish translation of the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire 25 (NEI VFQ-25) was self-administered at several follow-up visits until 2014. We analysed the association between Rasch-calibrated NEI VFQ-25 scores and visual function in the best eye at the final follow-up visit.

RESULTS: Ninety-one per cent (233/255) of all participants completed the NEI VFQ-25 at least once. In univariate logistic regression analysis, NEI VFQ-25 scores were modestly associated with visual acuity (VA) (r(2)  = 0.330, p < 0.001), visual field index (VFI) (r(2)  = 0.200, p < 0.001) and perimetric mean deviation (MD) (r(2)  = 0.193, p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, VA and VFI together accounted for approximately 40% (r(2)  = 0.380) of the NEI VFQ-25 scores. NEI VFQ-25 scores were significantly higher for patients with no visual impairment (mean 73 ± 22) than for visually impaired patients (mean 31 ± 15, p < 0.001). VFI worse than 50% or MD worse than -18 dB was significantly associated with low VRQOL scores (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Our results support the widespread, albeit arbitrary, use of a better-eye visual field of <50% as an important threshold for a significant reduction in VRQOL.

© 2015 The Authors. Acta Ophthalmologica published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica Foundation.

Acta Ophthalmol. 2015 Dec;93(8):745-52. doi: 10.1111/aos.12839. Epub 2015 Sep 18.

PMID: 26382936

Keywords: blindness,low vision,open-angle glaucoma,vision-related quality of life,visual impairment

Clinical Paper of the Month manager: Andreas Boehm

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