A review of generic preference-based measures of health-related quality of life in visual disorders

Value Health. 2012 Jan;15(1):118-27. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2011.08.002. Epub 2011 Oct 1.


Objective: This review examines generic preference-based measures and their ability to reflect health-related quality of life in patients with visual disorders.

Methods: A systematic search was undertaken to identify clinical studies of patients with visual disorders where health state utility values were measured and reported. Data were extracted to assess the validity and responsiveness of the measures. A narrative synthesis of the data was undertaken due to the heterogeneity between different studies.

Results: There was considerable heterogeneity in the 31 studies identified in terms of patient characteristics, visual disorders, and outcomes reported. Vision loss was associated with a reduction in scores across the preference-based measure, but the evidence on validity and responsiveness was mixed. The EQ-5D health-related assessment instrument's performance differed according to condition, with poor performance in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy. The more limited evidence on the HUI-3 instrument found it performed best in differentiating between severity groups of patients with glaucoma, AMD, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy. One study reported data on the SF-6D instrument and showed it was able to differentiate between patients with AMD.

Conclusions: The performance of the EQ-5D in visual disorders was mixed. The HUI-3 seemed to perform better in some conditions, but the evidence on this and SF-6D is limited. More head to head comparisons of these three measures are required. The new five-level version of EQ-5D may do better at the milder end of visual function.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Vision Disorders / psychology*