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Tsilimbaris, Miltiadis K. MD, PhD*,†; Kontadakis, Georgios A. MD, MSc*,†; Tsika, Chrysanthi MD, MSc*,†; Papageorgiou, Dimitrios MD, MSc*; Charoniti, Maria BA*

doi: 10.1097/IAE.0b013e31826b0c06
Original Study

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.

In this study, the 25-Item Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ-25) is used for the evaluation of the effect of panretinal photocoagulation on vision-related quality of life of diabetic retinopathy patients. No statistically significant alteration in VFQ-25 scores after the treatment was found. Panretinal photocoagulation does not seem to significantly affect patients' quality of life.

*Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital of Heraklion, Crete, Greece

Institute of Vision & Optics, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Crete, Crete, Greece.

Reprint requests: Miltiadis K. Tsilimbaris, MD, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital of Heraklion, GR71003 Voutes, Heraklion, Crete, Greece; e-mail:

None of the authors has a financial interest in any of the materials or methods discussed.

© The Ophthalmic Communications Society, Inc.