How Has Glaucoma Affected Your Quality of Life?


Hypothesis 1: Self-reported health-related quality of life decreases as vision impairment worsens in subjects with glaucoma. Hypothesis 2: Changes in health-related quality of life are associated with changes in clinical measures of vision and performance-based measures of visual function.

Full Title of Study: “A Prospective, Longitudinal, Observational Cohort Study Examining How Glaucoma Affects Quality of Life and Visual Function Over a 4-Year Period”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: N/A
    • Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Other
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: July 2016

Detailed Description

You are being asked to participate in this research study because you have glaucoma, which is the second leading cause of blindness in the world and accounts for 15% of blindness worldwide. Vision loss caused by glaucoma can significantly worsen your health-related quality of life. Despite the fact that glaucoma has such a big impact on a large number of people, research examining the long-term effects of glaucoma-related vision loss on one's quality of life is scarce. The purpose of this study is to look at the long-term effect of this condition on your quality of life so that we may gain valuable information about what factors influence the quality of life of people with glaucoma. To participate in this study, you will need to allow us to perform clinical tests on your eyes, to self-report your well-being and health-related quality of life, and to let us know how well you perform your daily life activities.


  • Other: Clinical evaluation
    • Biomicroscopy (look at front of eye), ophthalmoscopy (look at back of eye), visual acuity, visual fields, intraocular pressure, spectral domain optical coherence tomography, Pelli-Robson and the Spaeth-Richman Contrast Sensitivity tests
  • Other: Performance based measures
    • Compressed Assessment of Ability Related to Vision (CAARV) items include: 1) computerized motion detection; 2) recognizing facial expressions; 3) reading street signs; and 4) finding objects in a room
  • Other: Subjective measures of vision-related quality of life
    • National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire 25 (NEI-VFQ-25) includes a series of questions pertaining to vision or feelings about a vision condition and the Modified Glaucoma Symptom Scale (MGSS) includes a series of questions pertaining to eye comfort.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Other: Glaucoma Patients
    • Moderate glaucoma patients with a minimum 2-year diagnosis of primary open-angle glaucoma, chronic primary angle-closure glaucoma or pseudoexfoliation glaucoma were included to complete annual visits over a 4 year period. Each visit included (1) Clinical evaluation: a slit lamp examination, fundoscopy, intraocular pressure measurement, visual field examination, spectral domain optical coherence tomography, Pelli-Robson Contrast Sensitivity test and the Spaeth-Richman Contrast Sensitivity test; (2) a performance based measures: the Compressed Assessment of Ability Related to Vision; and (3) Subjective measures of vision-related quality of life (VRQoL) (the National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire 25 and the Modified Glaucoma Symptom Scale).

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Quality of Life With NEI VFQ-25
    • Time Frame: 2 hours at each annual visit, visits 2 through 5
    • National Eye Institute Visual Function-25 questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25) is a measurement of patients perception of their visually related quality of life. Patients select answers from multiple choice lists of responses. Values are re-coded and converted to a scale of 0 to 100 where 0 is extreme difficulty and 100 is no difficulty at all (or best quality of life). Data from visits 2 through 5.

Secondary Measures

  • Eye Comfort With MGSS
    • Time Frame: 2 hours at each annual visit, visits 2 through 5
    • Modified Glaucoma Symptom Scale (MGSS), is patient perception of their eyes comfort. Ten ocular complaints often associated with glaucoma each have a four level score (1 signifying very bothersome; 4 represents absence of problems). Scores from 10 questions are added and range from 0 to 100 where 0 represents significant discomfort and 100 represents no problems at all. The final MGSS score is an unweighted average of responses to 10 items, averaged between the 2 eyes. Data from visits 2 through 5.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Minimum 2-year diagnosis of primary open-angle glaucoma, chronic primary angle-closure glaucoma or exfoliation glaucoma – Disk Damage Likelihood Scale stages 5 through 8 with visual field loss – Age between 21 and 80 years – Able to understand and speak English Exclusion Criteria:

  • Unlikely to be available for annual ocular examination and reassessment across a 4-year period – Neurological or musculoskeletal problems that would influence performance on activities of daily living – Cognitively impaired, as assessed by a face-to-face Mini-Mental State Examination – Incisional eye surgery within the past three months – Laser therapy within the previous month – Any cause for visual reduction other than glaucoma – Any medical condition which in the investigator's opinion would preclude the subject from providing reliable and valid data

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: 80 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Wills Eye
  • Collaborator
    • Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: George L. Spaeth MD, Principal Investigator – Wills Eye
  • Overall Official(s)
    • George L Spaeth, MD, Principal Investigator, Glaucoma Service, Wills Eye Institute


Sun Y, Erdem E, Wizov S, Kayak N, Wei H, Spaeth GL. Quality of life measures in moderate glaucoma: study design and methodology. Abstract submitted, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Dec 2012.

Ekici F, Sun Y, Taranum S, Martinez P, Erdem E, Nayak N, Wizov SS, Waisbourd M, Spaeth GL. Relationship between baseline clinical characteristics and vision-related quality of life in patients with glaucoma. ARVO Poster 176-A0363 May 2014.

Gogte P., Hark LA., Spaeth E., Richman J., Wizov SS., Waisbourd M., Spaeth GL. Contrast Sensitivity – A Meaningful Way to Assess Health Related Quality of Life and Ability to Perform Daily Activities in Glaucoma Patients. ARVO Poster 2097-A0004 May 2015.

Waisbourd M., Gogte P., Richman J., Spaeth E., Dai Y., Wizov SS., Hark LA., Spaeth GL. Comparative Results with Regards to Humphrey Visual Fields and the SPARCS Contrast Sensitivity Test in Patients with Glaucoma. AOS meeting April 2015.

Citations Reporting on Results

Waisbourd M, Parker S, Ekici F, Martinez P, Murphy R, Scully K, Wizov SS, Hark LA, Spaeth GL. A prospective, longitudinal, observational cohort study examining how glaucoma affects quality of life and visually-related function over 4 years: design and methodology. BMC Ophthalmol. 2015 Aug 1;15:91. doi: 10.1186/s12886-015-0088-x.

Ekici F, Loh R, Waisbourd M, Sun Y, Martinez P, Nayak N, Wizov SS, Hegarty S, Hark LA, Spaeth GL. Relationships Between Measures of the Ability to Perform Vision-Related Activities, Vision-Related Quality of Life, and Clinical Findings in Patients With Glaucoma. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2015 Dec;133(12):1377-85. doi: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2015.3426.

Sun Y, Lin C, Waisbourd M, Ekici F, Erdem E, Wizov SS, Hark LA, Spaeth GL. The Impact of Visual Field Clusters on Performance-based Measures and Vision-Related Quality of Life in Patients With Glaucoma. Am J Ophthalmol. 2016 Mar;163:45-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2015.12.006. Epub 2015 Dec 14.

Clinical trials entries are delivered from the US National Institutes of Health and are not reviewed separately by this site. Please see the identifier information above for retrieving further details from the government database.

At, we keep tabs on over 200,000 clinical trials in the US and abroad, using medical data supplied directly by the US National Institutes of Health. Please see the About and Contact page for details.