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Vision-related quality of life in persons with unilateral branch retinal vein occlusion using the 25-item National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire
  1. Richard M Awdeh1,
  2. Sarah H Elsing2,
  3. Vincent A Deramo3,4,
  4. Sandra Stinnett1,
  5. Paul P Lee1,
  6. Sharon Fekrat1
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  2. 2Duluth Clinic, Duluth, Minnesota, USA
  3. 3Department of Ophthalmology, North Shore–Long Island Jewish Health System, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New Hyde Park, New York, USA
  4. 4Long Island Vitreoretinal Consultants, Great Neck, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sharon Fekrat, Duke University Eye Center, Box 3802, Durham, NC 27710, USA; fekra001{at}


Aim To evaluate vision-related quality of life in persons with branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) using the 25-item National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25).

Design Observational, cross-sectional, interviewer-administered study.

Methods 46 patients with unilateral BRVO were included in this study. Scores on the VFQ-25 were analysed and converted to scaled scores per NEI VFQ-25 algorithms. Clinical data including age, gender, employment status, living arrangements, visual acuity, number of systemic diseases and duration of BRVO were also recorded. Subscale results were compared with previously published data, and subgroup analyses were performed.

Results Mean adjusted subscale responses among BRVO patients were higher (except for ocular pain) than known averages in patients with diabetic retinopathy, central retinal vein occlusion, age-related macular degeneration and low vision, but lower than known averages in a reference group of people without ocular disease. Subscale responses correlated significantly with visual acuity in the involved eye. This observation held true in eight of 12 subscales, even in patients who maintained vision of 20/25 or better in the uninvolved eye. The General Health subscale and number of systemic diseases correlated significantly with both the General Vision and Peripheral Vision subscale scores. There was no correlation between subscale responses and age.

Conclusions BRVO is a retinal vascular disease that is associated with a decrease in vision-related quality of life as determined by the VFQ-25. A decrease in VFQ-25 score is correlated with involved eye visual acuity, even when good visual acuity is maintained in the uninvolved eye.

  • Quality of life
  • branch retinal vein occlusion
  • VFQ
  • BRVO

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  • Funding Supported by Research to Prevent Blindness (SHE, PPL, SF), Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Fellowship (VAD); Ronald G Michels Fellowship Foundation (VAD); AOS-Knapp Fellowship (VAD).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the Duke University Medical Center Institutional Review Board (IRB # 2287.00.12ER).

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.