Ophthalmology has a long tradition of relying on objective psychophysical measurements of vision impairment to represent a person’s functional ability or impairment. Measures of visual acuity and visual fields, in particular, are used clinically to judge the effect of disease as well as the efficacy of treatment with many clinical treatment trials and epidemiologic studies utilizing these measures as the primary study outcomes.
Although such objective vision impairment measures are still considered necessary, they are recognized no longer to be sufficient. However, while the rest of the medical care industry has begun to incorporate patient reported outcomes to validate the effect of procedure or care on a person's functional ability, in the ophthalmic industry these have not been adopted except for pharmaceutical trials. Primarily this has been because they have been viewed as administered tests conducted by staff utilizing visual function questionnaires that manifest poor answer stratification that results in poor patient understanding and reporting.
Sinclair Technologies along with the Clear Vision Foundation have developed a tablet based, self-administered questionnaire that has been validated against the administered NEIVFQ and more recently has been improved in the functional assessment questions for standard near and distance asks under various lighting conditions with stratification of the answers to enhance patient understanding and response. Such questionnaires will hopefully be used more commonly by patients in the waiting room (while waiting to see the doctor) as well as at home for improved disease monitoring.