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Influence of Glaucomatous Visual Field Loss on Health-Related Quality of Life


We examined the influence of glaucomatous visual field defects on vision-targeted and generic health-related quality of life. Vision-targeted and generic health status were assessed across 5 glaucoma treatment categories and a normal reference group from 5 tertiary care ophthalmology practices during regularly scheduled eye care visits. The sample consisted of 147 patients who were members of specific glaucoma treatment categories and 44 reference group patients. For patients with glaucoma, eligibility included a diagnosis of glaucoma at least 1 year prior to enrollment and no evidence of other eye disease. Participants completed 2 vision-targeted surveys, the National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire and the VF-14, and a generic health-related quality of life measure, the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form. Data from automated perimetry (Humphrey Field Analyzer 24-2, Humphrey Instruments, San Leandro, Calif) were used to generate Advanced Glaucoma Intervention Study scores for all participants. The Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form scores from glaucoma and reference group participants collected on a random half of the sample were similar. However, comparisons of the vision-targeted surveys demonstrated significant mean differences on 7 of 11 National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire scales, and a trend toward significant differences for the VF-14 (P < .07 by linear regression). Greater visual field defects in the better eye were significantly associated with poorer National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire scores (P < .05), as well as with worse VF-14 scores. These findings were most dramatic for patients with the most severe field loss in the better eye. Vision-targeted questionnaires were more sensitive than a generic health-related quality of life measure to differences between glaucoma and normal reference participants. Our findings indicate that self-reports of vision-targeted health-related quality of life are sensitive to visual field loss and may be useful in tandem with the clinical examination to fully understand outcomes of treatment for glaucoma.

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