Estimating minimally important differences for two vision-specific quality of life measures
Gillespie, B. W.; Musch, D. C.; Niziol, L. M.; Janz, N. K.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science
PURPOSE: To estimate minimally important differences (MIDs) for the Visual Activities Questionnaire (VAQ) and the National Eye Institute-Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ).; METHODS: A total of 607 subjects with newly-diagnosed open-angle glaucoma (OAG) was enrolled in the Collaborative Initial Glaucoma Treatment Study (CIGTS) and randomized to initial treatment with medications or surgery. Subjects underwent an ophthalmic examination and telephone-administered quality of life (QOL) interview before randomization and every six months thereafter. The VAQ and NEI-VFQ were used to assess participants’ perceptions of their visual function. Clinical measures included the mean deviation (MD) from Humphrey 24-2 full threshold visual field (VF) testing, and best-corrected visual acuity (VA) measured using the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) protocol. Anchor-based (using MD and VA) and distribution-based methods were used to estimate MIDs.; RESULTS: Anchor-based cross-sectional analyses at 66 months follow-up found a 10-letter increment in better eye VA corresponded to MIDs of 5.2 units for VAQ and 3.8 units for NEI-VFQ total scores. A 3-dB increment in the better eye MD yielded MIDs of 2.6 and 2.3 units for the same two questionnaires. In longitudinal analyses, MIDs for the VAQ were 3.2 units for a 10-letter change of VA and 3.4 units for a 3-dB change in the MD. Distribution-based MIDs were larger.; CONCLUSIONS: A range of MIDs for the VAQ (2.6-6.5 units) and NEI-VFQ (2.3-3.8 units) was found. Although similar in magnitude, MIDs were sensitive to the MID estimation method, the anchor chosen, and differences between questionnaires. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00000149.).Copyright 2014 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.