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Measuring visual symptoms in British cataract patients: the cataract symptom scale

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


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Aims-To develop and validate a scale for the measurement of visual symptoms and functional disability due to cataract in older UK residents. Methods-In depth semistructured interviews were undertaken with 44 consecutive patients awaiting cataract surgery. Patients were asked to describe visual symptoms and problems with social functioning which were then incorporated into a questionnaire, the cataract symptom scale (CSS). The CSS was further examined in a cohort of 118 consecutive cataract patients awaiting surgery. Further assessments in these patients included visual acuity, visual function using an existing scale (the VF-14), activities of daily Living, perceived health status, anxiety and depression, and a global assessment of how much patients felt their visual symptoms affected their daily life. Results-A 15 item scale was derived which was simple to administer to older patients and had a high internal consistency. The test-retest correlation coefficient for the total instrument score was r = 0.91 (p<0.0001). The CSS correlated well with the VF-14 and to a lesser extent with visual acuity in the better eye, activities of daily living, perceived health status, anxiety and depression, and the patients' global assessment of visual symptoms. Conclusion-The CSS provides information regarding the symptomatic and functional status of older cataract patients resident in the UK which cannot be obtained by measurement of visual acuity alone.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gray CS; O'Connell JE; Hildreth AJ; Crabtree HL; Phelan PS; Allen D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Ophthalmology

Year: 1999

Volume: 83

Issue: 5

Pages: 519-523

Print publication date: 01/05/1999

ISSN (print): 0007-1161

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: BMJ Group


DOI: 10.1136/bjo.83.5.519


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