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Xing D. Chen, Thomas W. Gardner; Patient-Reported Outcomes Reveal Impairments Not Explained by Psychophysical Testing in Patients With Regressed PDR. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2019;8(4):11. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.8.4.11.
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We evaluated the correlations between visual deficits and patient-reported symptoms in patients with regressed proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) to determine whether there is a psychophysical basis for vision-related impairments.
Visual acuity, reading acuity, contrast sensitivity, frequency doubling perimetry (FDP), Humphrey field analyzer (HFA), and dark adaptation assessed visual function. The National Eye Institute Vision Function Questionnaire-25 (NEI VFQ-25) and Low Luminance Questionnaire (LLQ) assessed quality of life.
We recruited 30 adults who received panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) for PDR and 15 control subjects; 22 diabetic and 11 control participants completed a second evaluation 5 years later. Visual acuity of the worse-seeing eyes tended to correlate better with NEI VFQ-25 and LLQ than did the acuity of the better-seeing eyes. Other vision measures were generally not associated with either questionnaire, especially responses related to driving ability and mental health. Visual acuity only detected subnormal performance in 43% to 45% of patients, while FDP 24-2, HFA 60-4, and LLQ detected abnormal performance in >80% of patients.
Poor visual acuity may explain some vision-related impairments in daily function. However, many patients with regressed PDR have normal acuity but reduced visual field and poor quality of life. In these patients, their reported symptoms were not fully explained by visual acuity or any psychophysical tests alone.
Visual acuity is a poor indicator of overall visual function in people with regressed PDR. In clinical settings, visual field tests and patient-reported outcomes may provide more comprehensive assessments of their functional deficits than visual acuity.
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