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Edward W. Trudo, Jr., Susan Gromacki, Christopher Eastburg; Quality of Life in West Point Cadets Seeking Refractive Surgery. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):5782.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The National Eye Institute’s Refractive Quality of Life (NEI-RQL) is a 42 item self-administered survey of visual performance and satisfaction. We used this survey to evaluate patient-reported quality of life in refractive surgery-seeking cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Self-administered surveys were completed by 175 cadets seeking refractive surgery. Using paired t-tests, we compared the following subscale scores (0-100; higher scores are always better) with this validated instrument’s normative values: Clarity of Vision, Expectations, Near Vision, Far Vision, Diurnal Fluctuations, Activity Limitations, Glare, Symptoms, Dependence on Correction, Suboptimal Correction, Worry, Appearance, and Satisfaction with Correction.
The mean age was 20.8 years. With their current correction, patient-reported scores of Clarity of Vision (76.16), Expectations (9.97), Far Vision (80.70), Activity Limitations (69.58), Worry (41.47), Suboptimal Correction (82.54), Appearance (51.98), and Satisfaction with Correction (62.18) were each significantly less than normal: 83.85, 43.57, 83.48, 85.28, 61.31, 92.74, 79.31, and 74.85 respectively (all p < 0.05). Scores for Glare (80.89) and Dependence on Correction (52.11) were better than normal: 76.40 and 42.38, respectively (p < 0.05). Near Vision, Diurnal Fluctuations and Symptoms were not statistically different from normative values.
By utilizing a population of West Point cadets in the administration of the NEI-RQL, we controlled for factors such as age, living conditions, salary, and daily activities. The cadets’ primarily lower responses, on average, may be indicative of their birth cohort; the cultural anachronism of cadet life; or a discontent with their current correction, fueling their strong desire for refractive surgery. This baseline cohort allows future comparison for age-matched control groups of cadets not seeking refractive surgery and to compare same 175 cadets ≥ 6 months after having received refractive surgery. By prospectively measuring these various indices of quality of life and vision, we aim to identify factors that can affect quality of life and vision both before and after refractive surgery.
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