Purpose: To evaluate an 18-item vision-specific quality-of-life questionnaire designed for use with adults in Fiji.
Methods: Participants in a population-based cross-sectional survey selected by multistage random sampling from those aged ≥40 years living on Fiji's main island had distance and near visual acuity measured. Those with presenting vision impairment (<6/18) and/or presbyopia (<N8) and every third participant with normal presenting distance vision answered an interview-based questionnaire.
Results: Of 1381 participants, 928 were eligible to answer the questionnaire. Of these, 921 provided valid responses to more than half the items and were the subject of analysis. The questionnaire conformed with a rating scale model: with the possible exception of one item, a single scale was formed, which had considerable range and many items well spaced. Estimates of relative validity suggested that rating and Likert scales constructed from the data had similar criterion validity discriminating between those with and without vision problems. The spacing and hierarchy of a three-response category model ("no problem," "little/moderate difficulty," "lot of difficulty/unable to do because of my vision"), were little influenced by sex, ethnicity or urban versus rural residence. Near vision tasks associated with print and very small objects, mobile phone use, sewing/weaving, and preparing lentils/rice/grains were ranked most difficult.
Conclusion: Although the analysis showed the 18-item questionnaire to be an adequate tool for assessing the impact of vision reduction on quality of life among adults in Fiji, further community consultation and item modification would likely deliver a more efficacious instrument.