The prioritization of patients on waiting lists for cataract surgery: validation of the Western Canada waiting list project cataract priority criteria tool

Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2005 Apr;12(2):81-90. doi: 10.1080/09286580590932770.


Purpose: To assess the validity of the Cataract Priority Criteria Score (PCS), developed by the Western Canada Waiting List (WCWL) Project to determine patient prioritization for cataract surgery.

Methods: Ophthalmologists assessed consecutive patients with the PCS and a visual analogue scale of urgency (VAS Urgency). Patients were mailed questionnaires pre- and post-surgery. Outcome measures were the Visual Function Assessment (VFA), EuroQol (EQ-5D), and best-corrected visual acuity.

Results: The sample of 253 patients was 58% female (mean age, 73.7 years); 166 completed pre-and post-surgery VFA. The correlation of the PCS and VAS Urgency was 0.65 (p = 0.000). Adjusting for age, first or second eye surgery, and post-operative complication, the PCS predicted improvement in the VFA and visual acuity (p < .05).

Conclusions: These data provide some evidence to support the convergent and predictive validity of the PCS. Multiple patient outcomes should be used in the evaluation of the validity of priority scores.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • British Columbia
  • Cataract / classification
  • Cataract / diagnosis
  • Cataract Extraction / standards*
  • Elective Surgical Procedures / standards*
  • Female
  • Health Care Rationing
  • Health Priorities / standards*
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Selection*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Visual Acuity
  • Waiting Lists*