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M. C. Lopes, A. Berezovsky, S. R. Salomao; Assessing Vision-Related Quality of Life in Children With Bilateral Congenital Cataracts. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):1173.
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To assess vision-related quality of life in children with bilateral congenital cataracts, using the recently developed Children’s Visual Function Questionnaire (CVFQ).
CVFQ has two different presentations, one for children under 3 years of age and the other for older children, and is divided in six subscales - general health; general vision; competence; personality; family impact and treatment. Thirty-five children previously diagnosed and treated (surgery, optical correction and/or patching) for bilateral congenital cataracts were assigned to two age groups: Group I - 17 children, 12 female, age range from 4 to 34 months (mean age: 14.35±10.23 months); Group II - 18 children, 8 female, age range from 3 to 7 years (mean age: 4.4± 1.5 years). Visual impairment was classified, considering either grating or optotype visual acuity compared to age-norms, as none (n=16), mild (n=7 children) and moderate or severe (n=12 children). The CVFQ was applied in the hospital setting to parents or other caretakers by personal interview. Scores obtained for the six subscales were compared between the two age groups (I and II) using a t-test and among the three visual impairment categories by means of an analysis of variance (ANOVA).
All subscales presented low scores for the quality of life of children with bilateral congenital cataracts. No differences between younger and older patients could be found in any of the six subscales. Competence subscale was significantly lower in the severe visually impaired patients compared to those not visually impaired (ANOVA F 5.7, p< 0.01; Tukey test p<0.01).
Bilateral congenital cataracts influence the vision-related quality of life of children as confirmed by low scores in all competences assessed by CVFQ. This instrument should be incorporated in the clinical assessment of children with bilateral cataracts as an outcome measure of the impact of visual impairment in their quality of life.
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