Treatment of Uncorrected Refractive Error Improves Vision-Specific Quality of Life

Authors

  • Anne L. Coleman MD, PhD,

    1. From the *Department of Ophthalmology, Jules Stein Eye Institute, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, and Departments of Epidemiology§Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CaliforniaRand Corporation, Santa Monica, California.
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  • Fei Yu PhD,

    1. From the *Department of Ophthalmology, Jules Stein Eye Institute, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, and Departments of Epidemiology§Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CaliforniaRand Corporation, Santa Monica, California.
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  • Emmett Keeler PhD,

    1. From the *Department of Ophthalmology, Jules Stein Eye Institute, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, and Departments of Epidemiology§Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CaliforniaRand Corporation, Santa Monica, California.
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  • Carol M. Mangione MD

    1. From the *Department of Ophthalmology, Jules Stein Eye Institute, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, and Departments of Epidemiology§Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CaliforniaRand Corporation, Santa Monica, California.
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Address correspondence to Anne L. Coleman, MD, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology, Jules Stein Eye Institute, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, 100 Stein Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095. E-mail: coleman@jsei.ucla.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the benefit of eyeglasses and magnifiers in elderly patients with uncorrected refractive errors.

DESIGN: A single-center, randomized, prospective, controlled trial (September 2001 to August 2003).

SETTING: Los Angeles County, California.

PARTICIPANTS: One hundred thirty-one community-dwelling persons aged 65 and older who had habitual distance visual acuity of 20/32 or worse and whose distant visual acuity, near visual acuity, or both could be improved with eyeglasses, a magnifier, or both by two lines of acuity or more.

INTERVENTION: Sixty-six were randomized to receive a prescription and voucher for free eyeglasses, a magnifier, or both immediately, and 65 were randomized to receive a prescription and voucher after the 3-month follow-up visit (the control group).

MEASUREMENTS: Primary outcome was vision-specific functioning as measured using the 25-item National Eye Institute—Visual Functioning Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ). Secondary outcomes were distance and near visual acuity and overall functioning as measured using the Rosow-Breslau function questionnaire.

RESULTS: In the intention-to-treat analysis of 3-month follow-up data, participants who received the eyeglasses prescription and voucher immediately had greater improvement in NEI-VFQ composite scores than the control group (P<.01). They also had greater improvement in perceptions of their general vision (P<.01), distance visual acuity (P=.03), near visual acuity (P=.04), and mental health (P=.02).

CONCLUSION: Correction of uncorrected refractive error, one of the leading causes of visual impairment in older people, improved the vision-specific quality of life of community-dwelling older persons.

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