Using the real-life vision test to assess the functional vision of age-related cataract patients

Eye (Lond). 2012 Nov;26(11):1402-11. doi: 10.1038/eye.2012.168. Epub 2012 Aug 10.


Purpose: (1) To describe and validate a newly developed, timed performance-based measures of functional vision-the real-life vision test (RLVT). (2) To determine how RLVT relates to clinical measures and self-report assessment of visual function and the complex interactions among visual impairment, psychosocial status, and demographic factors.

Methods: A total of 64 patients with age-related cataract and 45 age-matched controls were evaluated by four types of measurements: (1) demographic, medical, cognitive, and depressive evaluation and the reaction time (RT) testing; (2) clinical measures (visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, stereopsis, and the color perception); (3) the 25-item National Eye Institute's Visual Functioning Questionnaire; and (4) the RLVT. Spearman's coefficients, partial correlation, and multiple regression analysis were conducted to determine the relationship among RLVT, clinical measures, and self-report assessment of visual function while controlling for confounders.

Results: Control subjects performed RLVT significantly better than the cataract patients. RLVT correlated well with both clinical and self-report assessments of visual function. All subscales of RLVT remained highly associated with most of the clinical measures, even after adjusting for age, years of education, depression, cognitive status, and the RT. Distance, intermediate and near visual acuity, and binocular contrast sensitivity were significant predictors of the RLVT performances.

Conclusions: Given the strong relationship among RLVT, clinical measures, and the self-report assessments, our results highlight the potential usefulness of RLVT for assessing the functional vision of cataract patients. RLVT may provide information not obtainable from clinical measures or surveys and therefore it is essential to be incorporated into future ophthalmological practice.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Cataract / physiopathology*
  • Color Perception / physiology
  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Vision Tests*
  • Vision, Binocular / physiology
  • Visual Acuity / physiology*