Purpose: To evaluate the Visual Function Index (VF-14) questionnaire for its effectiveness in assessing visual function in patients with longstanding exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Design: Observational case series.
Methods: The records of 167 consecutive patients with recent neovascularization related to AMD between June 1990 and December 1994 at the Helsinki University Eye Clinic were analyzed in 1999. Of 121 patients still living, 74 (61%) attended the reexamination. After exclusions, data from 62 patients were analyzed. The VF-14 score, plus global assessment scores of satisfaction with vision and quality of vision, in which patients graded the subjective level of difficulty with their vision, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), contrast sensitivity, the area of the AMD lesion, and the shortest distance and direction from the center of the fovea to the edge of the subfoveal lesion, were analyzed.
Results: The VF-14 score correlated significantly with BCVA (P <.01), contrast sensitivity (P <.01), and global assessment scores (P <.01), showing stronger correlations with global assessment scores than did BCVA. In multivariate regression analysis, the global assessment scale of overall quality of vision and BCVA in the better eye were significant predictors (P <.001) of the variability in the VF-14 score.
Conclusions: The VF-14 reflects visual function of patients with late AMD more effectively than BCVA measurement alone. The VF-14 can thus be used to compare the visual handicap of late AMD patients with that of patients with other eye diseases.