A survey of potential and previous cataract-surgery patients: what the ophthalmologist should know
Received 10 June 2014
Accepted for publication 9 July 2014
Published 25 August 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 1595—1602
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 3
Bonnie An Henderson,1 Kerry Solomon,2 Samuel Masket,3 Richard Potvin,4 Edward J Holland,5 Robert Cionni,6 Helga Sandoval2
1Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston, Boston, MA, 2Carolina Eyecare Research Institute, Carolina Eyecare Physicians, Mount Pleasant, SC, 3Advanced Vision Care, Los Angeles, CA, 4Science in Vision, Akron, NY, 5Cincinnati Eye Institute, Cincinnati, OH, 6Eye Institute of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Objective: This study utilized a phone survey to characterize patient perceptions of cataract surgery and the manner in which the ophthalmologist contributes to the patient’s understanding in electing cataract surgery.
Patients and methods: Calls were made from a randomized membership list of the American Association of Retired Persons until 1,000 respondents 50 years of age or older had been recruited. Three groups were recruited: persons with no prior diagnosis of cataracts, persons diagnosed with cataracts but who had not had surgery, and persons who had had cataract surgery on both eyes within the past 5 years. A series of fixed-choice and open-ended questions was then presented to qualified participants. Questions related to vision, quality of life, and the understanding and perceptions of cataract surgery.
Results: Two-thirds of respondents reported having frequent eye examinations. More than half indicated that they had discussed cataract surgery with an eye doctor, most often with an ophthalmologist. They reported that the benefits of surgery were most often mentioned (68%), but lens options were infrequently mentioned (39%). Of those who had had surgery, 81% elected to do so on the advice of their health care professional. About 85% of respondents who had had surgery felt well educated about the procedure, though only 75% felt they understood their lens and vision options. Three-quarters of those who had had cataract surgery wished they had had the surgery sooner, and reported that they were enjoying life more after surgery.
Conclusion: The ophthalmologist plays an important role in preparing patients for cataract surgery. Discussing both the timing of the surgery and the patient’s lens options are critical for appropriate care; the survey results suggest room for improvement in this regard. Respondents reported they wished they had had surgery sooner, based primarily on their improved quality of life postoperatively.
Keywords: cataract surgery, intraocular lens, perception, quality of life
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