Background: The importance of evaluating the outcomes of health care from the standpoint of the patient is now widely recognized. The purpose of this study is to develop and test a Japanese version of the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25).
Methods: A Japanese version was developed with a previously standardized method. The questionnaire and optional items were completed by 245 patients with cataracts, glaucoma, or age-related macular degeneration, by 110 others before and after cataract surgery, and by a reference group (n = 31). We computed rates of missing data, measured reproducibility and internal consistency reliability, and tested for convergent and discriminant validity, concurrent validity, known-groups validity, factor structure, and responsiveness to change.
Results: Based on information from the participants, some items were changed to 2-step items (asking if an activity was done, and if it was done, then asking how difficult it was). The near-vision and distance-vision subscales each had 1 item that was endorsed by very few participants, so these items were replaced with items that were optional in the English version. For example, more than 60% of participants did not drive, so the driving question was excluded. Reliability and validity were adequate for all subscales except driving, ocular pain, color vision, and peripheral vision. With cataract surgery, most scores improved by at least 20 points.
Conclusion: With minor modifications from the English version, the Japanese NEI VFQ-25 can give reliable, valid, responsive data on vision-related quality of life, for group-level comparisons or for tracking therapeutic outcomes.