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Tablet-based tests of everyday visual function in a diabetic macular oedema (DME) clinic waiting area: A feasibility study

Taylor, D. J. ORCID: 0000-0001-8261-5225, Alquiza, P. J., Jones, P. R. ORCID: 0000-0001-7672-8397 , Wilson, I., Bi, W., Sim, D. A. & Crabb, D. P. ORCID: 0000-0001-8611-1155 (2023). Tablet-based tests of everyday visual function in a diabetic macular oedema (DME) clinic waiting area: A feasibility study. Ophthalmic And Physiological Optics, 44(2), pp. 388-398. doi: 10.1111/opo.13261


(1) To assess the feasibility of conducting tablet-based vision tests in hospital clinic waiting areas; (2) To test the hypothesis that increasing severity of diabetic macular oedema (DME) is associated with the performance of tablet-based surrogates of everyday tasks and self-reported visual function.

Sixty-one people with mild (n = 28), moderate (n = 24) or severe (n = 9) DME performed two tablet-based tests of ‘real-world’ visual function (visual search and face recognition) while waiting for appointments in a hospital outpatient clinic. Participants also completed a tablet-based version of a seven-item, visual-functioning (VF-7) patient-reported outcome measure. Test performance was compared to previously published 99% normative limits for normally sighted individuals.

Thirty-four participants (56%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 43%–68%) exceeded normative limits for visual search, while eight (13%; 95% CI 65%–24%) exceeded normative limits for face discrimination. Search duration was significantly longer for people with severe DME than those with mild and moderate DME (p = 0.01). Face discrimination performance was not significantly associated with DME severity. VF-7 scores were statistically similar across DME severity groups. Median time to complete all elements (eligibility screening, both tablet-based tasks and the VF-7) was 22 (quartiles 19, 25) min. Further, 98% and 87% of participants, respectively, reported the search task and face discrimination task to be enjoyable, while 25% and 97%, respectively, reported finding the two tasks to be difficult.

Portable tablet-based tests are quick, acceptable to patients and feasible to be performed in a clinic waiting area with minimal supervision. They have the potential to be piloted in patients' homes for self-monitoring.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © 2023 The Authors. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of College of Optometrists.
Publisher Keywords: diabetes, diabetic eye disease, patient-reported outcome measures, quality of life, visual function
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
SWORD Depositor:
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Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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