Purpose: To assess patients' quality of life (QoL) and overall visual function (VF) after phacoemulsification with intraocular lens (IOL) implantation in an urban Indian population.
Setting: Iladevi Cataract & IOL Research Center, Ahmedabad, India.
Methods: This prospective study comprised 300 patients with a mean age of 60.8 years +/- 9.2 (SD) who were evaluated preoperatively for visual acuity, QoL, VF, and demographic information. Postoperative evaluations included the same parameters with the addition of patient satisfaction. Also analyzed was the impact on the resumption of routine daily activities and professional work after phacoemulsification. Patients were divided into 2 categories: driving and nondriving. They were also categorized by profession and type and density of cataract. The relationship of patients' characteristics and QoL versus VF was determined by an analysis of variance and 99% confidence intervals. Effect sizes (change/difference / the standard deviation at baseline) were computed for intergroup longitudinal changes and intergroup differences.
Results: Correlation analysis showed a highly significant positive correlation between logMAR scores with VF and QoL. Overall, VF changed more significantly than QoL in effect size on all subscales. Postoperatively, 13% of respondents reported difficulty performing routine work; 40% resumed their daily activities within 1 week and 55%, within 1 month. More than 42% resumed professional activities within 1 week after surgery; 53% took 1 week to 1 month. Eight-six percent were fully satisfied with the results of cataract surgery. Overall, 88% reported that VF and QoL were "a lot better" and 10% responded little they were "a little better" than before surgery.
Conclusions: Improvement in health-related QoL and VF occurred within 3 months of cataract extraction. The speed of visual acuity recovery after phacoemulsification matched the improvement across health-related QoL functions, resulting in rapid recovery of the patients' functional independence and health status.