Impact of ocular surface symptoms on quality of life in a United States veterans affairs population

Am J Ophthalmol. 2012 Jun;153(6):1061-66.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2011.11.030. Epub 2012 Feb 11.

Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate the impact of ocular surface symptoms on quality of life in a veteran population receiving eye care services.

Design: Cross-sectional survey study.

Methods: setting: Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). patient population: Patients seen at the eye clinic between June and August 2010 were asked to fill out the Dry Eye Questionnaire 5 (DEQ5) and the Impact of Dry Eye on Everyday Life (IDEEL) questionnaire. main outcome measures: Correlation between ocular surface symptoms and functionality.

Results: Four hundred eighty-nine patients elected to fill out the DEQ5 questionnaire (36% response rate). The mean age of respondents was 66 years (standard deviation 12). Ninety-four percent were male; 62% were white and 37% were black. Using the DEQ5 as a surrogate measure of ocular surface symptoms, 65% of respondents reported at least mild ocular surface symptoms (DEQ5 ≥6) and 27% of them reported severe symptoms (DEQ5 ≥12). Black subjects had a 2-fold increased risk of severe symptoms compared to white subjects (odds ratio 2.06, 95% confidence interval 1.33-3.19). Several medications were associated with a significantly increased risk of severe symptoms, including glaucoma medications (1.7-fold increase), antidepressants (2.3-fold increase), and antihistamines (2.1-fold increase). There was an inverse correlation between DEQ5 and IDEEL scores with regard to ability to perform activities of daily living (n = 391, r = -0.54, P < .001), emotional well-being (n = 386, r = -0.63, P < .001), and the ability to work (n = 205, r = -0.57, P < .001). Fifty percent of patients with severe symptoms had documentation that their symptoms were addressed during the visit.

Conclusion: Severe ocular surface symptoms reduce the quality of life of Miami VAMC veterans. Eye care professionals should be vigilant in eliciting ocular surface complaints from their patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / ethnology
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / psychology*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Veterans / psychology*
  • Young Adult