Quality of life in age-related macular degeneration: a review of available vision-specific psychometric tools

Qual Life Res. 2008 May;17(4):559-74. doi: 10.1007/s11136-008-9327-4.


Purpose: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has a considerable impact on older adults' independence and autonomy. Recently, patient reported outcomes (PROs) such as QoL have been met with increasing interest by the scientific community, healthcare payers and planners. Against this background, the multitude of psychometric tools used to measure QoL in AMD was reviewed.

Methods: A search of the literature from 1990 onwards yielded 355 results, out of which 58 publications were included in the review. Data regarding design, validation and extent of utilization were obtained where available.

Results: The National Eye Institute-Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25-item) was found to be the most often used (29% of studies) and best validated psychometric tool, followed by the Visual Function Questionnaire (VF-14; 17%), and the Impact of Vision Impairment Profile (IVI; 9%). Most tools that were identified have been validated for the use in AMD patients.

Conclusion: Psychometric tools specifically designed to measure vision-related quality of life are well equipped and validated to measure QoL in AMD. More recent developments such as the Macular Disease-dependent Quality of Life (MacDQoL) questionnaire might be able to depict dimensions of vision-related QoL in greater depth. Future studies should endeavour to use a suggested standard when gathering data on vision related QoL, allowing for international comparisons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Age Factors
  • Algorithms
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / drug therapy
  • Macular Degeneration / physiopathology
  • Macular Degeneration / psychology*
  • Psychometrics*
  • Quality of Life* / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vision Tests