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Open Access Highly Accessed Correspondence

Which quality of life score is best for glaucoma patients and why?

Philip Severn1, Scott Fraser1*, Tracy Finch2 and Carl May2

Author Affiliations

1 Sunderland Eye Infirmary, Queen Alexandra Road, Sunderland, SR2 9HP, UK

2 Institute of Health and Society, 21 Claremont Place, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4AA, UK

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BMC Ophthalmology 2008, 8:2  doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-2

Published: 23 January 2008



The glaucomas are generally asymptomatic diseases until they are very advanced. They affect 2% of the population over 40 years of age and therefore represent a significant public health issue. There have been a number of attempts to develop quality of life scales for the disease. This review discusses the pros and cons of these scales and suggests the best of the current ones for use in a clinical setting.


Medline, Embase and Google Scholar were searched for relevant articles. No time period was defined and all types of article were included.


11 Quality of Life scores were identified that have been used with glaucoma patients.


There is no generally accepted 'best' Quality of Life instrument for use in glaucoma. Many of the scales are biased towards physical symptoms and do little to address the personal or social factors of the disease. Further work is needed to produce scales that address all these areas as well as being simple to administer in a clinical setting.