• 15D;
  • cataract surgery;
  • New Zealand priority criteria;
  • quality of life;
  • VF-14;
  • visual acuity


Purpose:  It is necessary to develop tools for patient selection to target cataract surgery to patients with the best expected outcomes. We used visual acuity, visual functioning 14 (VF-14) test, the 15-dimension health-related quality-of-life questionnaire (15D) and the New Zealand priority criteria to evaluate the criteria for cataract surgery in a post hoc setting.

Material and methods:  Ninety-three consecutive patients living in a defined rural area in Finland had cataract surgery as a part of the Pyhäjärvi Cataract Study in 2003. Success of cataract surgery was defined as improvement of visual acuity by at least 2 lines and/or improvement of visual function measured by questionnaires.

Results:  The patients with a visual acuity of 0.30 logMAR (0.5 Snellen decimal) or worse in the better eye and/or 0.52 logMAR (0.3 Snellen decimal) in the worse eye had successful surgery in 59–83% of cases depending on the definition of success. When subjective judgement was added, the success rates varied between 63% and 91%.

Conclusion:  Setting indication criteria, it seems sufficient to use two global questions in addition to visual acuity: one on the subjective view on disability, and one on a more neutral view on visual function, such as the 15D item on vision. The VF-14 did not perform any better than the single item counterparts.