OBJECTIVES: Patient-based health status measures have an important role to play in the assessment of health care outcomes. Among these measures, global assessments increasingly have been used, although the understanding of the performance of these indicators and the determinants of patients responses is underdeveloped. In this study, the performance of a single-item global indicator of visual function in cataract patients of four international settings was compared. METHODS: Visual acuity and ocular comorbidity was assessed by patients' ophthalmologist using Snellen-type charts in patients referred for a first cataract surgery in the United States, Manitoba (Canada), Denmark, and Barcelona (Spain). Patients also were interviewed by telephone and asked to report overall trouble with vision on a single-item indicator ("great deal," "moderate," "a little," "none") and to complete the Visual Functioning Index (VF-14), a scale of visual function ranging from 0 (worst function) to 100 (best level of function), along with other questions including the degree the patient was bothered by symptoms as measured by the Cataract Symptom Score (CSS). A total of 1,407 patients completed the clinical examination and the preoperative interview. RESULTS: Distribution of overall trouble with vision varied across the sites, with the proportion of patients reporting a great deal of trouble ranging from 21.7% to 37.9%. In all sites, patients reporting more trouble with vision tended to show a poorer age-adjusted and sex-adjusted visual acuity. The proportion of patients reporting great deal of trouble with vision was higher in the groups with worse visual acuity (P
PURPOSE: There is increased recognition that a rigorous approach to functional assessment should complement the assessment of clinical status. The authors compare the reliability, validity, and responsiveness to clinical change of a visual function index (VF-14) in non-U.S. and in U.S. patients with cataracts. DESIGN: An observational longitudinal study was performed. PARTICIPANTS: One thousand four hundred seven first eye cataract surgery patients were recruited in four international sites: Manitoba (Canada), Denmark, Barcelona (Spain), and the United States. INTERVENTION: Patients were evaluated before cataract surgery and at a 4-month postoperative follow-up visit. Patients completed the preoperative interview and the clinical examination (766 in the United States, 152 in Manitoba, 291 in Denmark, and 198 in Barcelona), and 91.3% of those (1284) also completed the 4-month postoperative follow-up interview and were evaluated postoperatively by an ophthalmologist. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The authors used the following measures: the visual function index (VF-14), the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP), global measures of patients' trouble and satisfaction with vision, and best-corrected visual acuity (VA) in each eye. RESULTS: The VF-14 showed a high internal consistency reliability level in all sites (Cronbach's alpha coefficients > or = 0.84). Correlation of preoperative visual function index scores with the Vision-Related SIP was strong (r = -0.68 in non-U.S. and r = -0.57 in U.S. patients) and with VA in the eye with better vision was moderate (r = 0.40 and r = 0.27, respectively), the pattern of relationships being very similar among U.S. and non-U.S. patients. In patients with only first-eye surgery who reported that their initial trouble with vision had improved, the amount of change in visual function as assessed by the VF-14 (effect size) was large (1.01 for the non-U.S. patients and 1.17 for the U.S. patients). CONCLUSIONS: The non-U.S. versions of the visual function index (VF-14) analyzed are as reliable, valid, and responsive to clinical change as the original U.S. version. These versions are appropriate for international studies of cataract patients outcomes and possibly in routine clinical practice.
To describe international variation in anesthesia care and monitoring during cataract surgery and to discuss its implications for cost and safety.
A standardized questionnaire was sent to random samples of ophthalmologists in the United States, Canada, and Barcelona, Spain, and to all ophthalmologists in Denmark. The survey was conducted in 1993 and 1994. Certified ophthalmologists who had performed 1 or more cataract extractions in the previous year were eligible for enrollment.
The response rates were 62% in the United States (n=148), 67% in Canada (n=276), 70% in Barcelona (n=89), and 80% in Denmark (n=82). The anesthetic technique for cataract surgery varied significantly between sites (P
OBJECTIVES: To describe international variation in the management of patients with cataacts in 4 health care systems and to discuss the potential implications for cost and utilization of services. DESIGN: To characterize current clinical practice on patients with no coexisting medical or ocular conditions, a standardized questionnaire was sent to random samples of ophthalmologists in the United States (response rate, 82.5%), Canada (66.9%), and Barcelona, Spain (70.4%), and to all ophthalmologists in Denmark (80.1%). From the United States, 526 ophthalmologists who performed cataract surgery participated in the study; there were 276 from Canada, 89 from Barcelona, and 82 from Denmark. RESULTS: Although in all 4 sites most surgeons reported that they performed A-scanning, fundus examination, and refraction routinely before surgery, significant crossnational variation was observed in preoperative ophthalmic and medical testing. While preoperative medical tests were virtually unused in Denmark, they were widely used in the other sites. A significantly higher proportion of the surgeons in the United States and Barcelona reported that they performed less than 100 extractions per year compared with surgeons in Canada and Denmark (P
The patient's perspective about waiting for elective surgery is an important consideration in the management of waiting lists, yet it has received little attention to date. This study was undertaken to assess the acceptability of personal waiting times from the perspective of patients, and to examine waiting time and patient characteristics associated with the perception that a wait for cataract surgery is too long. The international prospective study was conducted in three sites with explicit waiting systems: Manitoba, Canada; Denmark; and Barcelona, Spain. Patients over the age of 50 years were recruited consecutively from ophthalmologists' practices at the time of their enlistment for first-eye cataract surgery. Anticipated waiting time, opinions about personal waiting time, and patients' visual and health characteristics were identified by means of telephone interviews. The 550 patients interviewed at the time of enlistment for surgery anticipated waits varying from
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the pan-European, cross-cultural validity of the EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D) for assessing quality of life in the Schizophrenia Outpatient Health Outcomes (SOHO) Study. METHOD: The EQ-5D items investigated were mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression. A Rasch rating scale model (a form of differential item functioning) was used to identify invariance of item calibrations for the 10 European countries participating in the SOHO study. RESULTS: There was general congruence in the EQ-5D item calibration pattern. The rank of average EQ-5D item calibrations was similar for all countries except Denmark. Denmark showed slight misfits for mobility and pain/discomfort. CONCLUSION: The EQ-5D is an appropriate measure of health-related quality of life across European countries and translations.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: International comparisons of clinical practice may help in assessing the magnitude and possible causes of variation in cross national healthcare utilisation. With this aim, the indications for cataract surgery in the United States, Denmark, the province of Manitoba (Canada), and the city of Barcelona (Spain) were compared. METHODS: In a prospective multicentre study, patients scheduled for first eye cataract surgery and aged 50 years or older were enrolled consecutively. From the United States 766 patients were enrolled; from Denmark 291; from Manitoba 152; and from Barcelona 200. Indication for surgery was measured as preoperative visual status of patients enlisted for cataract surgery. Main variables were preoperative visual acuity in operative eye, the VF-14 score (an index of functional impairment in patients with cataract) and ocular comorbidity. RESULTS: Mean visual acuity were 0.23 (USA), 0.17 (Denmark), 0.15 (Manitoba), and 0.07 (Barcelona) (p 0.05). Mean VF-14 scores were 76 (USA), 76 (Denmark), 71 (Manitoba), and 64 (Barcelona) (p
OBJECTIVE: To compare visual outcomes obtained following cataract surgery in 4 sites in North America and Europe where considerable differences in the organization of care and patterns of clinical practice have been previously described. METHODS: Patients scheduled for first eye-cataract surgery and aged 50 years or older were enrolled consecutively in a prospective multicenter study that collected clinical and patient interview data preoperatively and postoperatively. From the United States, 772 patients were enrolled; from the Province of Manitoba (Canada), 159; from Denmark, 291; and from the City of Barcelona (Spain), 200. Preoperative and 4-month postoperative visual acuity was obtained for 92% of the patients (n = 1291). RESULTS: The mean 4-month postoperative visual acuity of eyes operated on varied significantly across the 4 sites (P
We interviewed persons who had recently been placed on a public waiting list for cataract surgery in Manitoba, Canada; Barcelona, Spain; and Denmark. The majority of the respondents were unwilling to pay higher taxes to reduce the length of the waiting list or to pay more out of pocket to have the surgery performed earlier in the private sector. Less than 2 percent actually had the surgery done in the private sector. We conclude that in spite of expressed public dissatisfaction with waiting lists in all three sites, a majority of the respondents did not support the actions that could have reduced their own wait.