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S. T. Angeles-Han, K. Griffin, M. Harrison, A. Hutchinson, S. Lambert, K. Fields, R. Reeves Robb, M. Shainberg, S. Prahalad, C. Drews-Botsch; Visual Function and Quality of Life in Children 8-18 Years of Age. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):948.
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Studies on quality of life (QOL) in children with ocular disease focus primarily on visual acuity as a measure of visual function. However, this measure does not adequately reflect the child’s perspective of the impact of their disease on their daily life. Assessment of QOL could be improved by including both objective and subjective measures of visual function. Since there are no validated instruments to measure vision related QOL in children 8-18 years of age, we developed a questionnaire to evaluate the performance of activities that rely on vision in home and school.
We interviewed experts in the field and children regarding how vision affects a child’s daily activities. We selected items from existing instruments relevant to our population. We recruited 53 children, 8-18 years old, with various (or no) ocular conditions that affect vision. Patient-based questionnaires were administered --the Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ 8-18) to measure vision related QOL, and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (Peds QL) to measure overall QOL. Associations between visual function and QOL were determined by Pearson’s correlation.
Of 53 patients tested, 49% were female. Mean age was 12.45 years. Mean VFQ score was 3.64 (SD 0.40). Mean Peds QL score was 78.84 (SD 13.64). Ocular conditions included strabismus, uveitis, retinal detachment, and cataracts. Moderate associations between visual function and different aspects of QOL are shown in Table 1.
Our study provides data on the contribution of visual function to overall QOL. Studies on QOL should incorporate all components of disability in their analysis and not rely primarily on objective measurements. The VFQ 8-18 may be an important instrument in the assessment of vision related QOL and a better measure than visual acuity alone. Our results suggest that visual impairment is a significant element of overall QOL in children.
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