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P. Tranos, F. Topouzis, H. Al Hakim, M. Harris, S. Dimitrakos, P. Economidis, N. Stangos; Effect of Laser Photocoagulation Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy on Patients’ Health-related Quality of Life . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):3955.
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Purpose: To evaluate the effect of laser photocoagulation for diabetic macular edema (DME) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) on patients’ Health Related Quality Of Life (HR-QOL). Methods: The study cohort was composed of 74 subjects with mean age of 63±11 years. 55 of those individuals underwent laser treatment for DME and 19 received panretinal photocoagulation for PDR. Eligible patients with no history of previous laser photocoagulation self-administered the 51-item field-test version of the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ) and the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short Form (SF-36) prior to treatment and 3 months following the last session of laser application. Multi-item scales rating different aspects of QOL were compared prior and after photocoagulation. Age matched individuals with DR who did not require laser treatment were enrolled in a reference sample. Results: Laser photocoagulation for diabetic retinopathy resulted in significant (p<.01) improvement of NEI-VFQ subscale scores associated with general vision (p=.004), near vision (p=.01), distance vision (p<.001), visual expectations (p=.005) and vision specific social functioning and mental health (p=.005 and p<.001 respectively). Of the SF-36 subscales only physical functioning and mental health showed significant improvement (p=.006 and p=.01 respectively). In contrast there was no association between change in composite scores and change in near or distance visual acuity after laser treatment. Conclusions: Photocoagulation for diabetic retinopathy has beneficial effect on patients’ health related quality of life. The use of vision-targeted health status questionnaires in conjunction with the clinical examination appears to provide more comprehensive overview of individuals’ daily well being following laser treatment.
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