Improving Cataract Surgery Results through Evaluation of Patient Centric Outcomes

Posted by Admin on November 8, 2013
Cataract surgery can be seen as successful from a clinical perspective yet have poor outcomes from the point of view of the patient. This is according to a study appearing in the journal Optometry and Vision Science. It claims that utilizing well-designed and validated tools to examine patient-reported outcomes can lead to improvements in cataract surgery care.

Examining a nationwide registry, the researchers evaluated clinical and patient-reported outcome measurements in nearly 10,000 cataract surgeries performed in Sweden between the years of 2001 and 2011. One major clinical outcome measurement following cataract surgery was visual acuity. However, improved visual acuity may not always be reflective of patient ratings in vision change from before and after the operation – especially in the area of performing daily functional tasks.

Unsurprisingly, comparing the two sets of outcomes revealed that patient-reported measures were affected by the clinical measures. Factors that impact patient-reported outcomes included visual acuity in both the operated and nonoperated eyes, alterations in visual acuity in the operated eye, and any other eye-related conditions.

However, other relevant information was gained by examining factors related to improved or worsened patient-reported outcomes. For example, patients who reported improvements in visual function prior to surgery who had poor visual acuity in the nonoperated eye were more likely to have worse patient-reported outcomes following cataract surgery.

There’s a growing emphasis on patient-reported outcomes and quality of life in examining a number of medical or surgical treatments. However very little attention has been paid to linking patient-reported outcomes to clinical outcomes for the purpose of improving health care. Age-related cataracts is a good model for quality outcome studies since it is a very common, progressive condition that impacts daily life and activities, and one for which surgical intervention is effective.

The new study aids ophthalmologists in determining how patient-reported outcome measures could be used to improve on cataract surgery results from the perspective of the patient. For example, the study authors suggest that surgery could be delayed or not performed for patients who feel they are not have significant difficulty with performing daily activities – especially if they have good near vision.


Written by Russ Allen



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