Assessment of quality of life among Taiwanese patients with visual impairment

J Formos Med Assoc. 2012 Oct;111(10):572-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jfma.2011.09.021. Epub 2012 May 1.


Background/purpose: This study aims at evaluating the relationship between visual impairment and health-related quality of life (QoL) by identifying factors that affect the EQ-5D index score and Visual Functioning Questionnaire (VFQ) global score, and determining whether the VFQ-25 scores and the European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) scores are correlated.

Methods: This cross-sectional study comprised 318 patients aged 40 years or more presenting with best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) of 20/40 or worse in the better eye.Patients received comprehensive ophthalmologic examinations, and were administered the National Eye Institute VFQ-25 and the EQ-5D instruments. A higher VFQ-25 score indicates a better QoL and, after conversion of the EQ-5D scores to an index score, a higher EQ-5D index score indicates a better QoL.

Results: On multivariate analysis of the EQ-5D index scores, women and those with arthritis were found to have significantly worse QoL, and the EQ-5D index score was increased by every unit increase in BCVA or mean deviation. Multivariate analysis of the VFQ-25 scores revealed that a history of heart disease, arthritis, and eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy, had significant negative effects on patients' QoL, and VFQ-25 global score was decreased by every unit increase in logMAR. According to this analysis, patients' QoL was improved by each unit increase in BCVA or mean deviation. The correlation between the two questionnaires was only weak to moderate.

Conclusion: Visual impairment was associated with lower QoL, as assessed by either questionnaire in Taiwanese patients.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthritis / complications
  • Arthritis / psychology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / complications
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / psychology
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / complications
  • Heart Diseases / psychology
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / complications
  • Macular Degeneration / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Taiwan
  • Vision Disorders / complications
  • Vision Disorders / psychology*
  • Vision Disorders / therapy
  • Visual Acuity