Typically, clinicians evaluate the outcomes of patients with chronic uveitis by measuring three factors: disease activity, visual function and tissue damage. All are worthwhile objective factors to consider when measuring success. However, by not taking the patient’s actual experience into account, doctors may be missing the most important outcome metric of all: patient perspective. A team of Dutch researchers have developed a subjective means of evaluation that takes into account five themes.

The Rotterdam Eye Hospital–based researchers compiled five components to evaluate success from the patient’s perspective:

  1. Disease symptoms and treatment – concerns related to vision, pain and discomfort as well as side effects of medications.
  2. Diagnosis and treatment process – any issues the patient had regarding the speed of their diagnosis, misdiagnosis or being able to reach their uveitis specialist.
  3. Impact on daily functioning – how their uveitis impacted their employment, sports/exercise, mobility, leisure such as watching TV or reading and how dependency on devices and medications have limited their quality of life.
  4. Emotional impact – fear, uncertainty or stress.
  5. Treatment success factors – improvement in vision or quality of life, stability/happiness when the uveitis is under control and satisfaction with medical care.

The researchers used questionnaires to rank the responses of 20 chronic uveitis patients, separated into two focus groups. That data analyzed from these questionnaires were used to establish these five themes.

Stolk-Vos A, Kasigar H, Nijmeijer K, et al. Outcomes in patients with chronic uveitis: which factors matter to patients? A qualitative study. BMC Ophthalmol. March 30, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].