Measurement of quality of life for people with diabetic retinopathy impairment

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Vision impairment associated with diabetic retinopathy (DR) impacts on an individual’s functioning, psychosocial, physical and financial wellbeing. However, clinical measures of visual functioning are not able to capture the broad effects of vision impairment as experienced by the individual. For this reason, self-reported health-related quality of life (QoL) has become an important outcome measure in ophthalmic practice. While many health-related QoL questionnaires have been developed to measure this concept, few have adequate psychometric properties. This paper discusses the assessment of vision-specific QoL for patients with DR and the associations between DR and QoL. The impact of ophthalmic interventions and low-vision rehabilitation for people with DR are explored. To fully capture the effectiveness of such interventions, a valid, reliable, culturally appropriate, vision-specific instrument should be used.

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Journal Article

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