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Recovery of visual and functional disability following cataract surgery in older people: Sunderland Cataract Study

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Christopher Gray, Dr Gulchekhra Karimova, Anthony Hildreth, Dr Janice O'Connell


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PURPOSE: To examine changes in visual, psychological, and functional disability in older people waiting for cataract extraction and 6 months after surgery. SETTING: Community-based study in Northeast England. METHODS: Participants were 92 patients (mean age 78.1 years ± 6.5 [SD], 79% female) with age-related cataract. Questionnaires were administered at time of listing for cataract extraction, 2 weeks preoperatively, and 2 and 6 months after surgery to assess visual symptoms and function, anxiety and depression, perceived health status, cognition, and activities of daily living. RESULTS: Mean waiting time was 265 ± 64.4 days. Forty-six patients had first-eye surgery, 39 had second-eye surgery, and 7 had sequential-eye surgery (both eyes operated on during follow-up). During the waiting period, there were no significant changes in visual symptoms, cognition, or functional abilities. However, perceived health status, anxiety, and depression improved significantly during this time. For first- and second-eye patients, surgery resulted in significant improvements in all questionnaire scores, except activities of daily living. CONCLUSIONS: Despite waiting 9 months for cataract surgery, patients did not decline in visual symptoms, social functioning, or cognition. In first- and second-eye patients, successful cataract extraction resulted in significant gains in visual function, cognition, and emotional and general well-being. The benefits of cataract surgery in older people extended beyond simple measures of visual acuity. © 2006 ASCRS and ESCRS.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gray CS, Karimova G, Hildreth AJ, Crabtree L, Allen D, O'Connell JE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery

Year: 2006

Volume: 32

Issue: 1

Pages: 60-66

ISSN (print): 0886-3350

ISSN (electronic): 1873-4502

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2005.07.040

PubMed id: 16516780


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