Beyond intraocular pressure: Optimizing patient-reported outcomes in glaucoma

Prog Retin Eye Res. 2020 May:76:100801. doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2019.100801. Epub 2019 Oct 31.


Glaucoma, an irreversible blinding condition affecting 3-4% adults aged above 40 years worldwide, is set to increase with a rapidly aging global population. Raised intraocular pressure (IOP) is a major risk factor for glaucoma where the treatment paradigm is focused on managing IOP using medications, laser, or surgery regimens. However, notwithstanding IOP and other clinical parameters, patient-reported outcomes, including daily functioning, emotional well-being, symptoms, mobility, and social life, remain the foremost concerns for people being treated for glaucoma. These outcomes are measured using objective patient-centered outcome measures (PCOMs) and subjective patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). Studies using PCOMs have shown that people with glaucoma have several mobility, navigational and coordination challenges; reading and face recognition deficits; and are slower in adapting to multiple real-world situations when compared to healthy controls. Similarly, studies have consistently demonstrated, using PROMs, that glaucoma substantially and negatively impacts on peoples' self-reported visual functioning, mobility, independence, emotional well-being, self-image, and confidence in healthcare, compared to healthy individuals, particularly in those with late-stage disease undergoing a heavy treatment regimen. The patient-centred effectiveness of current glaucoma treatment paradigms is equivocal due to a lack of well-designed randomized controlled trials; short post-treatment follow-up periods; an inappropriate selection or availability of PROMs; and/or an insensitivity of currently available PROMs to monitor changes especially in patients with newly diagnosed early-stage glaucoma. We provide a comprehensive, albeit non-systematic, critique of the psychometric properties, limitations, and recent advances of currently available glaucoma-specific PCOMs and PROMs. Finally, we propose that item banking and computerized adaptive testing methods can address the multiple limitations of paper-pencil PROMs; customize their administration; and have the potential to improve healthcare outcomes for people with glaucoma.

Keywords: Computerized adaptive testing; Glaucoma; Glaucoma treatments; Patient-centred outcomes; Patient-reported outcomes; Quality of life.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Glaucoma / drug therapy
  • Glaucoma / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology*
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Visual Acuity*


  • Antihypertensive Agents