Beyond visual acuity: functional outcome and patient satisfaction following treatment for age-related macular degeneration

  • Sara Dubuc, Walter Wittich, Julius E. Gomolin, Michael Kapusta, Olga Overbury
  • Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology, January 2009, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.3129/i09-163

Good vision is not just reading small letters on an eye chart

What is it about?

Many treatment evaluations in eye care rely on visual acuity, the ability to read black letters on a white eye chart. We decided to expand the evaluation of our patients by considering additional measures, including their satisfaction with the functional outcome of their treatment.

Why is it important?

Eye charts such as the Snellen chart (large E at the top) are over 150 years old but still carry lots of importance in clinical research. The ETDRS chart (5 letters on each line) has become the gold standard for clinical trials in eye care; however, visual function and functional vision rely on much more than reading letters. Therefore, we want to raise awareness that additional vision tests have an important role to play in eye care research.


Dr Walter Wittich
Universite de Montreal

This study was an important philosophical stepping stone during my training because it was the first time that I started to really understand the complex interplay among the variables that are important to all the parties involved in eye care, from the patient to the clinician, all the way to the outcomes expected by third-party payers.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Walter Wittich