The National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire valid measure of vision-related function

April 15, 2008

The National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ-25) is correlated with reading speed and restricted activity days.

Key Points

Indian Wells, CA-Visual acuity may not capture the full effect of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) on a subject's visual function. A recent study provides additional evidence that the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ-25) is a reliable and valid measure of vision-related function and provides information that extends and complements what can be learned from a clinical assessment, said Michael J. Cooney, MD, MBA, here at the annual meeting of the American Society of Retina Specialists.

Dr. Cooney, a vitreoretinal surgeon in private practice in Manhattan, and colleagues in Baltimore and San Francisco reported on a cross-sectional, non-interventional study that examined the relationship between reading speed and restricted activity days in the VFQ-25. They found that better visual function as assessed through the VFQ-25 was associated with a faster reading speed and with fewer restricted-activity days.

The study included 92 patients with neovascular AMD in the final analysis; 63% were women, 96% were Caucasian, the mean age was 78.3 years, and the mean time since AMD diagnosis was 2 years. Patients had received usual care for AMD but could not have had any treatment in the 4 weeks prior to starting the study.

Reading speed

Reading speed results showed that the mean reading speed was 105 words per minute in the better-seeing eye and 76 words per minute in the worse-seeing eye. The mean number of restricted activity days was 13 ± 30.

"The NEI-VFQ-25 scores were moderately correlated with reading speed in both eyes, but correlations were stronger for the better-seeing eye," Dr. Cooney said.

Patients who had faster reading speeds (>80 words per minute) reported better visual function (p <0.0001). Results were statistically significant across all categories, including overall composite, near and distance activities, and dependency scores. The pattern was similar, but to a lesser extent, in the worse-seeing eye (p <0.01).

The scores were moderately and negatively correlated with restricted activity days.

Patients who reported fewer restricted activity days had better visual function, on average, Dr. Cooney said.

This finding was statistically significant across all categories and subscales that were studied (p <0.0001).