Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Quality of life and visual impairment from cataract in Satkhira district, Bangladesh
  1. S Polack1,
  2. H Kuper1,
  3. Z Wadud2,
  4. A Fletcher1,
  5. A Foster1
  1. 1
    London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  2. 2
    Child Sight Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  1. Ms S Polack, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, UK; sarah.polack{at}


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.

Statistics from


  • Funding: This study was funded by grants from Sight Savers International, Christian Blind Mission and Orbis International.

  • Competing interests: None.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.