Changes in quality of life after laser in situ keratomileusis for myopia


Purpose. To measure quality of life (QoL) outcome in prepresbyopic myopic patients having laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) refractive surgery using the Quality of Life Impact of Refractive Correction (QIRC) questionnaire and to compare the QoL of preoperative patients with a sample of spectacle and contact lens wearers not considering refractive surgery.

Setting. Department of Optometry, University of Bradford, Bradford, and Ultralase, Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom.

Methods. The validated QIRC questionnaire was prospectively completed by 66 patients before and 3 months after LASIK. Patients had myopia greater than 0.50 diopters (D) (range -0.75 to -10.50 D) and were aged 16 to 39 years. Patients were also directly asked to evaluate their QoL after surgery.

Results. Overall QIRC scores improved after LASIK from a mean of 40.07 ± 4.30 (SD) to 53.09 ± 5.25 (F1,130 = 172.65, P<.001). Greater improvements occurred in women (53.83 ± 5.46) than in men (49.39 ± 5.94; F1,64 = 9.37, P<.005). Overall, 15 of the 20 questions (especially convenience, health concerns, and well-being questions) showed significantly improved scores (P<.05). Patients who "strongly agreed" (53.96 ± 4.91, n = 33) or "agreed" (51.78 ± 6.19, n = 23) had improved QoL and had significantly higher QIRC scores than those who "neither agreed nor disagreed" (44.36 ± 4.97, n = 5) or "strongly disagreed" (42.82, n = 1) (F1,60 = 11.24, P<.001). The matched group not contemplating LASIK scored 42.41 ± 3.89 on QIRC overall.

Figure 1
Figure 1. Columns showing mean difference (error bars G 1 SD) of preoperative and postoperative responses on each QIRC question (*significant difference by 1-way analysis of variance).

Conclusions. Large improvements in QIRC QoL scores were found after LASIK for myopia in the majority of patients, with greater improvements in women. A small number of patients (4.5%) had decreased QIRC QoL scores, and these were associated with complications. People presenting for LASIK scored measurably poorer than matched patients not contemplating refractive surgery.

Accepted for publication December 22, 2004.

Estibaliz Garamendi, PhD, Konrad Pesudovs, PhD, David B. Elliott, PhD
From the Department of Optometry (Garamendi, Elliot), University of Bradford, Richmond Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom, and the University of Houston College of Optometry (Pesudovs), Houston, Texas, USA.

Presented at the Association for Vision Research in Ophthalmology annual meeting, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, April 2004.

PDFQoL after LASIK   as PDF (130 Kb)



Index of Papers




[ Welcome ][ Publications ]