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Optimising assessment of dark adaptation data using time to event analysis

Higgins, B. E. ORCID: 0000-0002-4530-6156, Montesano, G., Binns, A. M. ORCID: 0000-0001-8621-498X & Crabb, D. P. ORCID: 0000-0001-8754-3902 (2021). Optimising assessment of dark adaptation data using time to event analysis. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 8323. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-86193-3


In age-related macular degeneration (AMD) research, dark adaptation has been found to be a promising functional measurement. In more severe cases of AMD, dark adaptation cannot always be recorded within a maximum allowed time for the test (~ 20-30 min). These data are recorded either as censored data-points (data capped at the maximum test time) or as an estimated recovery time based on the trend observed from the data recorded within the maximum recording time. Therefore, dark adaptation data can have unusual attributes that may not be handled by standard statistical techniques. Here we show time-to-event analysis is a more powerful method for analysis of rod-intercept time data in measuring dark adaptation. For example, at 80% power (at α = 0.05) sample sizes were estimated to be 20 and 61 with uncapped (uncensored) and capped (censored) data using a standard t-test; these values improved to 12 and 38 when using the proposed time-to-event analysis. Our method can accommodate both skewed data and censored data points and offers the advantage of significantly reducing sample sizes when planning studies where this functional test is an outcome measure. The latter is important because designing trials and studies more efficiently equates to newer treatments likely being examined more efficiently.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
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Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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