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What factors influence cataract waiting list time?
  1. Amanda J Churchill,
  2. Colin J Vize,
  3. Owen G Stewart,
  4. Oliver Backhouse
  1. Department of Ophthalmology, St James's University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF
  1. Amanda J Churchill


AIMS To determine whether there were any specific factors that influenced waiting list time (WLT) for patients undergoing cataract surgery.

METHODS 70 preoperative cataract patients were interviewed by one of the authors using a questionnaire to score visual acuity, coexisting ocular pathology and disabilities, threat to independent living/employment, and perceived visual handicap for detailed, gross, and driving vision. Individuals were analysed separately according to whether it was their first or second cataract operation.

RESULTS The median WLT for first eye surgery was 9 months (n = 31) and 13 months for second eye surgery (n = 36). The WLT ranged from 2 to 25 months for first eyes and 0.25–18 months for second eyes. Where there was a perceived threat to independent living or employment the WLT was found to be significantly shorter than the median. A high overall score correlated with a shorter WLT. Surgical priority was also given to individuals with anisometropia >3 dioptres.

CONCLUSION This study has demonstrated that there are specific factors that influence clinicians when prioritising patients for cataract surgery.

  • cataract surgery
  • waiting list time

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