Purpose: To evaluate the effect of laser panretinal photocoagulation for bilateral proliferative diabetic retinopathy on vision-related quality of life.
Methods: In this prospective study, 20 patients (12 men and 8 women) with bilateral proliferative diabetic retinopathy treated with panretinal photocoagulation were included (mean age: 65 years, SD: 11.6 years). On average, patients received 2,140 laser spots per eye. The National Eye Institute 25-Item Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ-25) was used to evaluate patients' vision-related quality of life. The VFQ-25 was filled in by interview twice, at the beginning and at least 1 month after the completion of panretinal photocoagulation. Comparison of preoperative and postoperative VFQ-25 composite and subscale scores was performed. Correlation was evaluated between change in composite score and treatment intensity as indicated by mean number in laser spots.
Results: Mean composite score before laser treatment was 71.9 ± 14.8 and after treatment it was 70.6 ± 17.2 (P = 0.748, paired t-test). None of the subscale scores had a statistically significant difference before and after treatment. Composite score change was not correlated with treatment intensity.
Conclusion: Panretinal photocoagulation as applied in our study, although destructive in nature, is well tolerated by the patients, without interfering significantly with their quality of life.