A team of researchers from Denmark believes it has found a way for ophthalmologists to identify the patients who will most likely to benefit from age-related cataract surgery.
Additionally, the scientists defined cataract surgery as beneficial if it led to an improvement in visual acuity or visual function without major perioperative or postoperative complications.
In a review article recently published in Acta Ophthalmologica, they recommended that the Swedish NIKE (Nationell Indikationsmodell för Katarakt Ekstraktion) system be adopted in Denmark. “We found that the Swedish NIKE system (Lundström et al. 2006) was the only system with a documented association between preoperative grading and outcome after cataract surgery,” they wrote.
Items included in the NIKE indication tool, according to the 2006 study:
· Visual acuity, surgery eye
· Visual acuity, fellow eye
· Patient’s perceived difficulty in performing day-to-day activities
· Cataract symptoms (glare, difference between the eyes)
· Ability to live independently (work, driving, home help, caring for relatives, etc.)
· Medical⁄ophthalmic reasons for urgent surgery
The NIKE system, adapted for Swedish use from the Canadian Cataract Priority Criteria Tool, has been used by all ophthalmic clinics in Sweden since late 2005, according to the 2006 report. A study published in 2014 by Ng and Lundström found that using the NIKE system to prioritize patients waiting for cataract surgery also “reduces waiting times for those with the greatest need.”