Multisite prospective investigation of psychological outcomes following cataract surgery in Vietnam

David Berle*, Zachary Steel, Beverley M. Essue, Lisa Keay, Stephen Jan, Huynh Tan Phuc, Maree L. Hackett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Cataract surgery is a low-cost and effective intervention. There is increasing evidence to suggest that cataract surgery is associated with improvements in mobility, overall functioning and reductions in psychological distress. Within lowincome and middle-income countries, cataract surgery has also been documented to lead to reductions in psychological distress; however, differences in economic activity and engagement in paid and domestic work in these countries may moderate such reductions. We aimed to examine the psychological outcomes following cataract surgery among a diverse Vietnamese sample. Methods: We report findings from the VISIONARY study, a 12-month multisite prospective study of cataract surgery outcomes conducted in Vietnam (N=462). Generalised estimating equations (GEEs) were used to identify the variables which were associated with reduced psychological distress. Results: A high proportion of participants (56.6%) reported psychological distress before surgery and severity of psychological distress had decreased by 12 months following surgery (95% CI (4.13 to 4.95)). There were regional differences in the extent of improvement in psychological distress and change in paid and unpaid work. The extent of improvement in visual acuity, male gender, and increase in paid and unpaid work hours were significant predictors of reductions in psychological distress. Conclusions: Cataract surgery appears to result in the greatest reductions in psychological distress in communities where work engagement is highest. Funding: The VISIONARY study was funded by a grant provided by the Fred Hollows Foundation, Australia. During the course of this work, BME was in receipt of an Ian Potter Foundation Fellowship and a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) fellowship (1072148), SJ received an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship, MLH was in receipt of a National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowship 100034.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000162
JournalBMJ Global Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


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