J Cataract Refract Surg. 2005 Aug;31(:1537-43.

Garamendi E, Pesudovs K, Elliott DB.

Department of Optometry, University of Bradford, Richmond Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


PURPOSE: To measure quality of life (QoL) outcome in prepresbyopic myopic patients having laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) refractive surgery using the Quality of Life Impact of Refractive Correction (QIRC) questionnaire and to compare the QoL of preoperative patients with a sample of spectacle and contact lens wearers not considering refractive surgery.


SETTING: Department of Optometry, University of Bradford, Bradford, and Ultralase, Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom.


METHODS: The validated QIRC questionnaire was prospectively completed by 66 patients before and 3 months after LASIK. Patients had myopia greater than 0.50 diopters (D) (range --0.75 to --10.50 D) and were aged 16 to 39 years. Patients were also directly asked to evaluate their QoL after surgery.


RESULTS: Overall QIRC scores improved after LASIK from a mean of 40.07+/- 4.30 (SD) to 53.09+/- 5.25 (F(1,130)=172.65, P<.001). Greater improvements occurred in women (53.83+/- 5.46) than in men (49.39+/- 5.94; F(1,64)=9.37, P<.005). Overall, 15 of the 20 questions (especially convenience, health concerns, and well-being questions) showed significantly improved scores (P<.05). Patients who "strongly agreed" (53.96+/- 4.91, n=33) or "agreed" (51.78+/- 6.19, n=23) had improved QoL and had significantly higher QIRC scores than those who "neither agreed nor disagreed" (44.36+/- 4.97, n=5) or "strongly disagreed" (42.82, n=1) (F(1,60)=11.24, P<.001). The matched group not contemplating LASIK scored 42.41 +/- 3.89 on QIRC overall.


CONCLUSIONS: Large improvements in QIRC QoL scores were found after LASIK for myopia in the majority of patients, with greater improvements in women. A small number of patients (4.5%) had decreased QIRC QoL scores, and these were associated with complications. People presenting for LASIK scored measurably poorer than matched patients not contemplating refractive surgery.


Now for the truth behind the survey (from the full-text):

"the optical zone was at least 6.0 mm, increased to 0.5 mm greater than the scotopic pupil for pupils over 5.5 mm".

"... other factors, such as the Hawthorne effect and cognitive dissonance, should be considered. Participating in a clinical trial or study can make patients report a significant positive effect of the surgery due to the added attention being made toward them (the Hawthorne effect)."

"Cognitive dissonance states that a change in attitude or belief occurs in an attempt to be consistent with the choice taken. Patients who have chosen to have surgery could justify this choice by indicating that the outcome was successful".