To investigate the effect of epiretinal membrane (ERM) peel on patients’ health related quality of life (HR-QOL) and to explore the association between self reported HR-QOL and conventional measures of visual function.
The National Eye Institute 25 Item Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ-25) and the 36 Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) were self administered by 20 patients before and 4 months following surgery. Preoperative and postoperative data collected included logMAR near and distant visual acuity (VA), contrast sensitivity, and metamorphopsia. Questionnaire scores were compared preoperatively and postoperatively and their correlation with traditional methods of visual function evaluation analysed.
Postoperatively there was no significant improvement in mean logMAR VA. However, eight (40%) subjects improved by two or more ETDRS lines and nine eyes (45%) reached a final VA of 6/18 or better. Metamorphopsia decreased significantly (p = 0.019) and there was significant improvement in VFQ-25 mean scores for the general vision (p = 0.03), distance activities (p = 0.05), and composite score (p = 0.03). Baseline binocular VA was significantly correlated with baseline VFQ-25 composite score (r = 0.631, p = 0.004).
ERM surgery appears to improve patients’ subjective perception of visual function as indicated by higher composite scores in VFQ-25 and improved metamorphopsia in the absence of significant improvement in mean logMAR VA.
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