Evaluating cataract surgery gains by assessing patients' quality of life using the VF-7

J Cataract Refract Surg. 1999 Jul;25(7):989-94. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(99)00082-6.


Purpose: To describe the development and performance of a questionnaire designed to measure functional impairment caused by cataract.

Setting: Department of Ophthalmology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

Methods: The results of a visual-functioning index (VF-14) of 168 patients with first-eye cataract surgery were analyzed. Patients with significant comorbidity were excluded, leaving 142 patients for the final analysis. Snellen visual acuity measurements and complete preoperative and 4 month postoperative clinical status were performed by ophthalmologists. Outcome measures, including the VF-14, patient perception of trouble with vision, patient satisfaction with vision, and the cataract symptom score, were taken by nurses at the preoperative clinical examinations and at the 4 month postoperative visit. The Spearman rank correlation was used to determine which items of the VF-14 best correlated with a change in patient satisfaction.

Results: Seven items of the VF-14 that best correlated with patient satisfaction were selected for inclusion in a new 7-item index (the VF-7). Based on the Spearman rank correlation, the items from best to worst were nighttime driving; reading small print; watching television; seeing steps, stairs, or curbs; reading traffic, street, or store signs; cooking; and doing fine handwork. The correlation among changes in the VF-7 score and visual acuity in the operated eye was 0.17, while the correlation among changes in the VF-7 and patient satisfaction caused by cataract surgery was high (r = .56).

Conclusion: The VF-7 was a strong predictor of change in patient satisfaction caused by cataract surgery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cataract / complications*
  • Cataract Extraction*
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity