Treatment of Uncorrected Refractive Error Improves Vision-Specific Quality of Life
Anne Coleman, Fei Yu, Emmett B. Keeler, Carol M. Mangione
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the benefit of eyeglasses and magnifiers in elderly patients in Los Angeles County, California with uncorrected refractive errors.
A single-center, randomized, prospective, controlled trial (September 2001 to August 2003).
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.
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).
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. 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).
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.