Ophthalmologists Unconcerned With Patients' Quality of Life

How effectively does medical care achieve its purposes? Evaluation of peer-reviewed literature in ophthalmology related to wellness.

Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc. 2007;105:214-23; discussion 223-4.

Spaeth GL, Monteiro de Barros DS, Gheith M, Siam GA, Nagarsheth M.
William and Anna Goldberg Glaucoma Service, Wills Eye Institute/Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

PURPOSE: To get an idea of whether the issue of what makes people healthier is studied in ophthalmology by determining the proportion of articles dealing with that subject.

METHODS: Prospective review of all articles published in 3 consecutive issues of 7 peer-reviewed ophthalmology journals, using a grading system in which A signified an article that clearly dealt with a subject expected to have an impact on health or quality of life, or that considered health or quality of life itself directly; B indicated an article similar to A, but not directly concerned with the issue of health; C signified an article similar to B but more distantly related to health or quality of life; and D was the grade given when there was no relationship at all to health or quality of life. Grading was done independently by 3 graders. A literature review on the subject was also performed.

RESULTS: Thirty-three articles received a grade of A, 229 of B, 740 of C, and 81 of D. There were more articles that had no relationship at all to health or quality of life than there were articles dealing directly with those issues.

CONCLUSIONS: On the basis of a review of the literature and of over 1000 articles, ophthalmologists do not appear to give much priority to issues of quality of life or health. How validly these conclusions can be generalized to general clinicians is not known.

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