Development of the National Eye Institute Refractive Error Correction Quality of Life Questionnaire

Focus Groups

Published in: Ophthalmology, v. 110, no. 12, Dec. 2003, p. 2285-2291

Posted on on January 01, 2003

by Sandra H. Berry, Carol Mangione, Anne S. Lindblad, Peter J. McDonnell

Read More

Access further information on this document at

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

OBJECTIVE: To identify the content area for a questionnaire designed to measure the vision-targeted, health-related quality of life for persons with well-corrected refractive error. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-two focus groups were conducted with 414 patients from 5 geographically diverse ophthalmic and optometric sites to identify the content area of a questionnaire for use among persons with myopia and hyperopia. METHODS: A standard protocol was used to structure each focus group discussion, and groups were led by centrally trained moderators at each participating site. Results were summarized and analyzed using a standard set of codes. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were conducted. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Self-reported observations or comments about vision, vision correction, and other aspects of quality of life. RESULTS: Among the 414 participants, 9262 mentions of comments were recorded. The most frequent comments reported by participants were about types of vision correction, followed by comments with their own vision and vision-related symptoms. The distribution of comments by topic domain was generally similar across types of correction and type of refractive error. The most frequent specific comments about glasses concerned problems with reading, adjustment between near and far vision, and appearance. The most frequent comments about contact lenses included those on symptoms such as dry eyes, itching and tired eyes, and headaches, and negative comments about ease of use. The most frequent comments among patients with surgical correction concerned fewer driving problems; fewer symptoms; and improvement in vision, recreation, and comfort. Participants provided equal numbers of positive and negative comments about glasses. Twice as many positive as negative comments were given by contact lens wearers, and 4 times as many positive comments were provided by patients who had undergone surgical correction. CONCLUSIONS: Using focus groups, the authors were able to identify content areas and aspects of visual functioning in persons with refractive error that are not measured by standard visual acuity testing in the clinic or by other vision-targeted, health-related quality of life instruments such as the 25- or 51-item National Eye Institute-Visual Functioning Questionnaire. The similarity of problems mentioned across refractive error type and correction method suggests it will be possible to develop a single questionnaire with adequate content validity to compare the impact of different modes of correction in vision-targeted, health-related quality of life.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.