June 2017
Volume 58, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2017
Quality of Life and Visual Functioning in Rural Nepal
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Stephen Lau
    University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom
  • Mohan Shrestha
    Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Stephen Lau, None; Mohan Shrestha, The Fred Hollows Foundation (F)
  • Footnotes
    Support  Fred Hollows Foundation
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2017, Vol.58, 1350. doi:
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      Stephen Lau, Mohan Shrestha; Quality of Life and Visual Functioning in Rural Nepal. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):1350.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : Visual impairment (VI) and poor visual functioning (VF) are important causes of poor quality of life (QoL). However, there is no literature describing VF and vision-related QoL in rural Nepal. This study aims to describe the relationship between VF and vision-related QoL of those with VI in rural Nepal.

Methods : A cross-sectional study was conducted on 542 participants with presenting visual acuity (VA) <6/18 in the mountain (N=153), hill (N=187) and plains (N=202) regions of rural Nepal. Demographic data was collected and participants were interviewed using the VF-14 and a vision-related QoL questionnaire from a previous study in rural Vietnam. Composite scores between 1-100 were generated, where 1 was maximal difficulty. Data was analyzed using Microsoft Excel and SPSS version 16.5.

Results : The mean age of participants was 65 ± 14 years with 89% ≥50 years. 45% and 55% of participants were male and female respectively. Presenting VA was <6/18-6/60 (moderate VI) in 82.7%, <6/60-3/60 (severe VI) in 8.7% and <3/60 (blind) in 8.7% of participants. The causes of VI included refractive error (39.5%), untreated cataracts (53.5%), glaucoma (1.5%), age-related macular degeneration (0.5%), diabetic retinopathy (0.2%) and other causes (4.8%). Furthermore, only 19 (3.5%) subjects were using glasses to correct refractive error.

Vision-related QoL scores had a range of 11 to 44, mean of 17.8, median of 15 (IQR=11-22) and mode of 11 (N=185). VF scores had a range of 12 to 48, mean of 28.1 ± 7.6, median of 28 and mode of 22 (N=33). There was a moderate correlation between VF and total (r=0.65, p<0.001), personal (r=0.60, p<0.001), mobility (r=0.65, p<0.001) and social activity (r=0.56, p<0.001) QoL scores. However, there was a poor correlation between VF and mental QoL scores (r=0.42, p<0.001). There was a good correlation between VF and total QoL scores in the mountains (r=0.73, p<0.001), but a moderate correlation in the plains (r=0.64, p<0.001) and hills (r=0.53, p<0.001).

Conclusions : Most VI was moderate, but VF and vision-related QoL scores were low and QoL scores were positively skewed. Although VF moderately correlated with QoL, the correlation varied with QoL component and region. Among QoL components, the correlation was weakest with mental QoL scores. Among regions, the correlation was strongest in the mountains region, which suggested eye health interventions may be more likely to improve QoL there.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.




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