Improving function in Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Design and methods of a randomized clinical trial

Barry W. Rovner, Robin J. Casten, Mark T. Hegel, Robert W. Massof, Benjamin E. Leiby, William S. Tasman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in older adults and impairs the ability to read, drive, and live independently and increases the risk for depression, falls, and earlier mortality. Although new medical treatments have improved AMD's prognosis, vision-related disability remains a major public health problem. Improving Function in AMD (IF-AMD) is a two-group randomized, parallel design, controlled clinical trial that compares the efficacy of Problem-Solving Therapy (PST) with Supportive Therapy (ST) (an attention control treatment) to improve vision function in 240 patients with AMD. PST and ST therapists deliver 6 one-hour respective treatment sessions to subjects in their homes over 2 months. Outcomes are assessed masked to treatment assignment at 3 months (main trial endpoint) and 6 months (maintenance effects). The primary outcome is targeted vision function (TVF), which refers to specific vision-dependent functional goals that subjects highly value but find difficult to achieve. TVF is an innovative outcome measure in that it is targeted and tailored to individual subjects yet is measured in a standardized way. This paper describes the research methods, theoretical and clinical aspects of the study treatments, and the measures used to evaluate functional and psychiatric outcomes in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-203
Number of pages8
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  • Clinical trial
  • Depression
  • Vision function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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