Visual functional outcomes of cataract surgery in the United States, Canada, Denmark, and Spain: Report of the International Cataract Surgery Outcomes Study

Jens Christian Norregaard, Peter Bernth-Petersen, Jordi Alonso, Tavs Folmer Andersen, Gerard F. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: To compare functional outcomes after cataract surgery performed at 4 sites in 4 countries that have been described as having significant differences in the organization of care and patterns of clinical practice. Setting: Multicenter cohort study from the United States, Canada, Denmark, and Spain. Methods: Clinical data and patient interview data were collected preoperatively and 4 months postoperatively. Functional outcomes were assessed by the Visual Function Index (VF-14), a self-reported measure of visual function. Scores on the VF-14 range from 0 (maximum impairment) to 100 (no impairment). Results: Unilateral surgery was performed in 1073 patients. In this subgroup, the odds of achieving an optimal functional outcome (VF-14 score ≥95) were similar among sites after controlling for differences in case mix. Bilateral surgery was performed in 211 patients. A postoperative visual acuity of 0.50 or better in both eyes was reported in 155 patients. However, 37% of these patients reported visual function impairment (VF-14 score <95). Conclusions: A previously identified variation in treatment modalities among the 4 sites did not have a significant effect on the odds of achieving an optimal functional outcome. In addition to visual acuity measurements, the VF-14 index provides information on functional outcomes that is useful, especially in studies assessing the benefits of cataract surgery in a public health care setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2135-2142
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of cataract and refractive surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems

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