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P. Moore, D. Mehr, R. Kruse, R. Jamara; Using the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI VFQ–25) as a Screening Tool for Detecting Correctable Refractive Errors Among the Elderly in Primary Care Setting . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):1162.
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To study the prevalence of correctable refractive errors among older patients visiting a primary care clinical facility.
Subjects who qualified for the study were cognitively coherent patients over the age of 65 visiting their primary care physician. Upon consent, patients were given a verbal questionnaire based the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI VFQ–25). On the same day, we administered Snellen distance visual acuity test and a near visual acuity with a reading card at 40 cm; both tests conducted with and without pinhole.
During an eight month period concluding on April 5, 1999, we interviewed 104 patients from a clinic associated with the University of Missouri_School of Medicine. The patients we selected for interviews had to be mentally coherent and capable of communicating verbally. The majority of the patients interviewed were Caucasians between the ages of 65–84. Eighty–six out of a hundred respondents had with them on the day of the interview their habitual refractive correction so as to allow near or distance acuity testing. Twenty–eight percent (95% confidence interval 18.8%–38.6%) had distance vision of 20/50 or worse in their better eye, and twenty–one percent had 20/50 or worse near acuity. Sixty–one participants with 20/40 vision or worse completed at least one pinhole test. Ten (16.4%) showed improvement of at least two lines. The median VFQ composite score was 87.3, with only 10% of respondents scoring less than 67. The correlation between the NEI VFQ composite score and best distance visual acuity is –0.52, while the correlation with best vision near vision is –0.29.
Our results show that there is a correlation between the NEI VFQ composite score and visual acuity. Thus, it may be beneficial to use the NEI VFQ–25 as a visual screening tool for detecting correctable refractive errors among the elderly population during routine primary care visits.
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