Contrasting the use of 2 vision-specific quality of life questionnaires in subjects with open-angle glaucoma

J Glaucoma. Jun-Jul 2009;18(5):403-11. doi: 10.1097/IJG.0b013e3181879e63.


Purpose: To compare 2 vision-specific functional status measures to each other and to clinical parameters in the Collaborative Initial Glaucoma Treatment Study (CIGTS).

Methods: CIGTS participants completed the Visual Activities Questionnaire (VAQ) and the National Eye Institute-Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ) and were tested for visual field (VF) and visual acuity (VA). In all, 426 subjects contributed the VAQ and NEI-VFQ scores at 54 months. Pearson correlations were used to assess associations.

Results: The VAQ subscales (range, 0 to 100) that assessed light-dark adaptation (mean=66.1), glare disability (66.4), and acuity/spatial vision (67.7) indicated vision-related functions that CIGTS participants found most difficult. On the NEI-VFQ, subjects reported high levels of visual functioning, with mean >/=90 (out of 100) on the total score and in 9 of 12 subscales. General vision (mean=82.6) received the lowest subscale score. Two subscales common to both questionnaires were highly correlated: VA (r=0.68) and peripheral vision (r=0.77) (both P<0.0001). Correlations between participants' perceptions and clinical measures of visual function were in the expected direction, but weaker. Stronger associations were found between clinical measures and the NEI-VFQ than the VAQ. Better eye VF and worse eye VA had the highest number of significant correlations with subjects' perceptions of their visual function. Increasing VF loss was associated with a significant decrease in the overall and peripheral vision subscale scores from both questionnaires, and also several other subscales.

Conclusions: CIGTS patients reported excellent visual function on both the NEI-VFQ and VAQ. These findings will help researchers interested in assessing patients' perceptions of their visual function make an informed selection when choosing between the VAQ and the NEI-VFQ.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adaptation, Ocular
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dark Adaptation
  • Female
  • Glare
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • National Eye Institute (U.S.)
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • United States
  • Vision, Ocular*
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visual Fields