What factors influence cataract waiting list time?

Br J Ophthalmol. 2000 Apr;84(4):429-31. doi: 10.1136/bjo.84.4.429.


Aims: To determine whether there were any specific factors that influenced waiting list time (WLT) for patients undergoing cataract surgery.

Methods: 70 preoperative cataract patients were interviewed by one of the authors using a questionnaire to score visual acuity, coexisting ocular pathology and disabilities, threat to independent living/employment, and perceived visual handicap for detailed, gross, and driving vision. Individuals were analysed separately according to whether it was their first or second cataract operation.

Results: The median WLT for first eye surgery was 9 months (n = 31) and 13 months for second eye surgery (n = 36). The WLT ranged from 2 to 25 months for first eyes and 0.25-18 months for second eyes. Where there was a perceived threat to independent living or employment the WLT was found to be significantly shorter than the median. A high overall score correlated with a shorter WLT. Surgical priority was also given to individuals with anisometropia >3 dioptres.

Conclusion: This study has demonstrated that there are specific factors that influence clinicians when prioritising patients for cataract surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Automobile Driving
  • Cataract / physiopathology
  • Cataract Extraction*
  • Employment
  • England
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Acuity
  • Waiting Lists*