The impact of visual impairment and use of eye services on health-related quality of life among the elderly in Taiwan: The Shihpai Eye Study

S. Y. Tsai, L. Y. Chi, C. Y. Cheng, Wen-Ming Hsu, J. H. Liu, P. Chou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


To evaluate the effect of impaired vision on health-related quality of life (HRQoL), the authors administered the Medical Outcomes Survey Short-Form 36 (SF-36) to the elderly in a metropolitan Taiwanese community and assessed their visual impairment status. A structured questionnaire was used for door-to-door data collection. Interviewers also collected information on demographics, medical history, and HRQoL. Those who were interviewed were invited to the study hospital for a detailed eye examination. An eye examination, including presenting visual acuity and best-corrected visual acuity, was conducted by ophthalmologists. Presenting visual acuity and best-corrected visual acuity were measured in the better eye. Impaired vision was defined as presenting visual acuity in the better-seeing eye worse than 6/12 (or 20/40) and was used to evaluate the correlation to HRQoL. A total of 1361 subjects at least 65 years of age participated in both the interview and eye examination. Internal-consistency and test-retest reliability of the eight scales were high. Based on the separate multiple regression model, after controlling for all other covariates, subjects in contact with vision services offered by an ophthalmologist had more positive scores on general health perceptions (β = 4.29; p < 0.001), vitality/energy (β = 2.73; p < 0.001), and mental health (β = 2.06; p = 0.01). Impaired vision was associated with significantly lower scores in physical functioning (β = -3.62; p < 0.001) and social functioning scales (β = -3.25; p = 0.015). The findings suggest that visual impairment is associated with lower quality of life and use of eye care services is associated with higher quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1415-1424
Number of pages10
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2004
Externally publishedYes



  • Elderly
  • Impaired vision
  • Quality of life
  • Taiwan
  • Visual acuity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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