Aims: To evaluate a vision-related quality of life (QOL) scale (World Health Organization Prevention of Blindness and Deafness Visual Function 20—WHO/PBD VF20) and explore the impact of cataract visual impairment on vision- and health-related QOL in people ⩾50 years from Satkhira district, Bangladesh.
Method: 217 cases visually impaired from cataract and 280 controls with normal vision were interviewed about vision-related QOL (WHO/PBD VF20), generic health-related QOL (EuroQol generic health instrument, EQ-5D) and socio-demographic information. The validity and reliability of the WHO/PBD VF20 were evaluated using standard psychometric tests and criteria.
Results: Evidence for validity and reliability of the WHO/PBD VF20 was found. Worsening general functioning, psychosocial and overall eyesight scores were associated with increased visual loss (p for trend<0.001). Cases were more likely to report problems with each EQ-5D descriptive domain and had poorer self-rated health than controls with normal vision (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Demonstration of the validity and reliability of the WHO/PBD VF20 in this population supports its suitability as a tool for assessing vision-related QOL in low-income settings. The poorer health-related QOL in cases compared with controls suggests an impact of cataract visual impairment on perceived health and well-being, beyond vision-specific experience.
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Funding: This study was funded by grants from Sight Savers International, Christian Blind Mission and Orbis International.
Competing interests: None.