Intended for healthcare professionals


Visual impairment is not enough to assess need for treatment

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 07 November 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:1319
  1. Alan Mordue, Consultant in public health medicine.,
  2. David W Parkin, Senior lecturer in health economics.
  1. Borders Health Board, Melrose, Roxburghshire TD6 9DB
  2. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH

    EDITOR-Reidy et al found that 6% (92 of 1547) of an elderly population had serious and potentially remediable visual impairment (<6/60) and far higher numbers had less serious impairment.1 Since many of these people were not in touch with eye services it would be easy to conclude that, for example, the volume of cataract surgery should be substantially increased. The findings are important but caution is needed in drawing conclusions for service provision. Case definitions are critical in epidemiological investigations. The …

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