JUL 01, 2011
This study reports on patients' perception of their physical functioning following trichiasis surgery in Ethiopia. The authors conclude that the benefits of trichiasis surgery go beyond prevention of vision loss to the recovery of vision and physical function.
The study's results include data from 411 subjects (93.8 percent) who completed both baseline and follow-up questionnaires administered by trained interviewers. The study was nested within the Surgery for Trichiasis, Antibiotics to Prevent Recurrence (STAR) clinical trial. The subjects were all 18 year or older with trichiasis in at least one eye. They underwent bilamellar tarsal rotation surgery followed by either postoperative azithromycin or tetracycline, to which they were randomly assigned.
Physical functioning scores at baseline ranged from -6.32 (great difficulty) to +6.01 (no difficulty). Six months after surgery, the percentage of participants reporting no difficulty in physical functioning increased by 32.6 percent. The proportion of participants in the mild/no visual impairment category increased by 8.6 percent. A multivariate linear regression model showed that for every line of vision gained, physical functioning improves significantly. Individuals with the most severe impairment at baseline showed the largest gains in physical functioning six months after surgery. This group included those with severe entropion, worse baseline vision in the better eye and worse baseline physical functioning score.