Distribution and associations of vision-related quality of life and functional vision of children with visual impairment

Br J Ophthalmol. 2021 Apr 7;bjophthalmol-2020-318473. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2020-318473. Online ahead of print.


Background: Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are increasingly used in paediatric ophthalmology. However, little is known about the distribution of PROM scores among children and young people with visual impairment.

Aim: To investigate the distributions and predictors of scores on the VQoL_CYP (measuring vision-related quality of life) and FVQ_CYP (measuring functional vision).

Methods: Children and young people aged 8-18 years, with visual impairment/blindness (logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (LogMAR) worse than 0.48 in the better eye, and/or eligible visual field restriction) completed the VQoL_CYP and FVQ_CYP at home or Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, UK. Associations between VQoL_CYP and FVQ_CYP scores and sociodemographic and clinical factors were analysed using multiple linear regression models.

Results: Among 93 participants, VQoL_CYP scores ranged from 36.6 to 78.2 (mean=57.9, SD=8.1). FVQ_CYP scores ranged from 23.5 to 70.3 (mean=48.3, SD=10.1). Only 0.4% of the variation in VQoL_CYP scores was explained, with no associations with the variables of interest. By contrast, 21.6% of the variation in FVQ_CYP scores was explained, with a gradient of worse acuity (p<0.001) and female gender (p=0.04) associated with worse self-rated functional vision. Age, ethnicity, time of onset and stability/progression of visual impairment were not associated.

Discussion: Self-rated vision-related quality of life and functional vision are not readily predicted from sociodemographic or clinical characteristics that ophthalmologists measure/record. Routine use of PROMs in clinical practice can offer important insights. Use in research can provide valuable measures of effectiveness of interventions. The reference values provided will aid interpretation in both settings.

Keywords: child health (paediatrics); diagnostic tests/Investigation; medical education; treatment other; vision.