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Republished article: The impact of diabetic retinopathy: understanding the patient's perspective
  1. E K Fenwick1,
  2. K Pesudovs2,
  3. G Rees1,
  4. M Dirani1,
  5. R Kawasaki1,
  6. T Y Wong1,3,
  7. E L Lamoureux1,3
  1. 1Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
  2. 2NH&MRC Centre for Clinical Eye Research, Discipline of Optometry and Vision Science, Flinders University and Flinders Medical Centre, Australia
  3. 3Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore
  1. Correspondence to A/Professor Ecosse Lamoureux, Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, 32 Gisborne St, East Melbourne, VIC 3002, Australia; ecosse{at}


Understanding the impact of a condition from the patient's perspective is important, and different types of patient-reported outcomes or instruments are available to help with this. This review article summarises the current evidence on the impact of diabetic retinopathy (DR) and its associated vision impairment on patient-reported outcomes. We have included research that has used a range of outcome measures to assess the impact of DR on generic health-related quality of life, utility, vision-functioning and vision-specific quality of life. This review also offers clarification on frequently misused psychometric terminologies to help clinicians and researchers better understand the literature associated with patient-reported outcome research. Overall, the evidence suggests that DR, particularly in its vision-threatening stages, has a substantial, negative impact on the patient. However, our understanding of the impact of DR is currently restricted due to limitations inherent in currently available patient-reported outcome measures. We conclude by discussing potential directions for future research in this area, such as item banking and computer adaptive testing.

  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • quality of life
  • visual function
  • outcome measure
  • vision impairment
  • retina
  • vision
  • public health

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  • This is a reprint of a paper that first appeared in Br J Ophthalmol, 2011, Volume 95, pages 774–782.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.

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