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The effect of glasses on visual function following cataract surgery in a cataract camp
  1. J Maki1,
  2. S Kusakul2,
  3. K Morley3,
  4. T Sanguansak4,
  5. J Seddon5,
  6. L Hartung6,
  7. M Morley7
  1. 1
    Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
  2. 2
    Nakhon Phanom Hospital, Nakhon Phanom, Thailand
  3. 3
    Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
  4. 4
    Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand
  5. 5
    New England Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA
  6. 6
    Eastham, MA, USA
  7. 7
    Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston, Boston, MA, USA
  1. Dr M Morley, Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston, 50 Staniford Street, Boston, MA 01224, USA; mgmorley{at}


Aim: To investigate visual and functional impact of glasses following cataract surgery in a high-volume cataract camp as measured by the World Health Organization Prevention of Blindness Visual Function Questionnaire (WHO/PBD-VFQ-20).

Method: Subjects were administered the WHO/PBD-VFQ three times: (1) preoperatively; (2) 3 months postoperatively, before glasses; and (3) 6 months postoperatively, after 3 months with glasses. Patients were given prescription glasses or +2.50 readers at the 3-month follow-up.

Results: 315 patients enrolled in the study; 113 patients had complete WHO/PBD-VFQ and visual acuity data from all three administrations. The mean preoperative visual acuity in the surgical eye was 20/327. Following cataract surgery but before glasses, visual acuity improved to 20/57. Total WHO/PBD-VFQ and subscale scores improved significantly at the 3-month point. With glasses, visual acuity improved to 20/43. Total WHO/PBD-VFQ scores did not change following glasses, although the overall and near vision subscales did improve significantly. Glasses were worn once per week or less in 56% of patients.

Conclusion: Postoperative glasses result in modest improvements in visual acuity. Total WHO/PBD-VFQ scores did not change significantly following glasses, but the overall and near vision subscales did improve. The net beneficial effect of glasses was small relative to cataract surgery itself.

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  • Funding: Supported from a grant from the Center for Eye Research and Education (CERE). CERE had no involvement in the planning, execution or writing of this manuscript

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: All procedures and protocols were approved by Khon Kaen University Institutional Review Board.

  • Patient consent: Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects.