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COMMUNITY OPHTHALMOLOGY
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 464-469

The challenges in improving outcome of cataract surgery in low and middle income countries


1 International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom
2 Pushpagiri Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India
3 Presbyterian Eye Services, Acha-Bafoussam, Cameroon
4 Allen Foster Research Centre for Community Eye Health, International Centre for Advancement of Rural Eye Care, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Robert Lindfield
International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.100552

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Cataract is the leading cause of blindness globally and surgery is the only known measure to deal with it effectively. Providing high quality cataract surgical services is critical if patients with cataract are to have their sight restored. A key focus of surgery is the outcome of the procedure. In cataract surgery this is measured predominantly, using visual acuity. Population- and hospital-based studies have revealed that the visual outcome of cataract surgery in many low and middle income settings is frequently sub-optimal, often failing to reach the recommended standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO). Another way of measuring outcome of cataract surgery is to ask patients for their views on whether surgery has changed the functioning of their eyes and their quality of life. There are different tools available to capture patient views and now, these patient-reported outcomes are becoming more widely used. This paper discusses the visual outcome of cataract surgery and frames the outcome of surgery within the context of the surgical service, suggesting that the process and outcome of care cannot be separated. It also discusses the components of patient-reported outcome tools and describes some available tools in more detail. Finally, it describes a hierarchy of challenges that need to be addressed before a high quality cataract surgical service can be achieved.


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