Vision-related quality of life in patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration

Am J Ophthalmol. 2005 Feb;139(2):271-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2004.09.028.


Purpose: To evaluate the relative impact of best and worst eye on vision-related quality of life in patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Design: Quality of life and visual acuity data were collected at baseline during a randomized clinical trial.

Setting: Multicenter (11 centers), international study.

Patients: One hundred fourteen patients with a diagnosis of exudative AMD and primary or recurrent subfoveal neovascular membrane (greatest linear dimension of lesion < or =5400 microm; > or =50% of the total lesion was choroidal neovascularization (CNV); classic component of the total CNV > or = 1.0 mm(2)). All patients were over age 50 years, of any race, either sex. INTERVENTION OR OBSERVATION PROCEDURE: NEI-VFQ-39 questionnaire administered to patients at home by trained telephone interviewers.

Main outcome measures: ETDRS visual acuity (VA) was measured in both eyes separately. Vision-related quality of life (QoL) was assessed using the NEI-VFQ-39. An analysis of variance was performed on the NEI-VFQ scores, including best eye VA (VA > 20/40 vs VA < or = 20/40), worst eye VA (VA > 20/200 vs VA < or = 20/200), and the interaction between the two as independent variables.

Results: Best eye VA was 0.34 on average, with VA > 20/40 in 43.0% of patients. Worst eye VA was 0.85 on average, with VA > 20/200 in 32.5% of patients. VA was not linked to general health and ocular pain scores. General Vision, Near Activities, Distance Vision, Driving, Mental Health, Role Difficulties, Dependency, Peripheral Vision, and the Global NEI-VFQ scores were affected by both best eye VA and worst eye VA.

Conclusion: In the study sample, worst eye VA (< or =20/200) and best eye VA (< or =20/40) contributed independently to vision-related QoL. These results suggest that preserving a minimal visual acuity in the worst eye may contribute to vision-related quality of life.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / etiology
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / complications
  • Macular Degeneration / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*
  • Visual Acuity / physiology