J Cataract Refract Surg. 2004 Sep;30(9):1861-6.
Bailey MD, Mitchell GL, Dhaliwal DK, Wachler BS, Olson MD, Shovlin JP, Pascucci SE, Zadnik K.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the reasons patients who have had laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) recommend it to others and examine the disparity between high levels of satisfaction and patient reports of night-vision symptoms and/or dry eye after LASIK.
SETTING: Northeastern Eye Institute, Scranton, and the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA.
METHODS: Questionnaires assessing symptoms and satisfaction after LASIK were mailed to 2,100 patients. The questionnaires included items about night-vision symptoms and satisfaction and an open-ended question for patients to give their reasons for recommending LASIK to others. The open-ended responses were categorized and tabulated.
RESULTS: Four hundred thirty-four patients provided reasons for recommending LASIK to others. Sixteen categories of reasons were identified. "No more spectacles/contact lenses" was listed by 180 patients (42%), followed by "better vision" (21%) and "convenience" (15%). Women were significantly more likely to cite "better comfort" (27 women versus 3 men; chi square = 8.99, P =.003) and "better quality of life" (41 women versus 9 men; chi square = 7.36, P =.007) as a reason for recommending LASIK. Of the 35 patients who reported dissatisfaction with post-LASIK vision, 20 (57%) would recommend LASIK to a friend because "LASIK helps others."
CONCLUSIONS: Categories of reasons for recommending LASIK to others were similar to reasons given by patients for seeking LASIK. Some patients who reported dissatisfaction with their vision said they would recommend LASIK, suggesting that recommendation of LASIK to others is not necessarily a measurement of the quality of a patient's vision after LASIK.