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PURPOSE: Cataract surgery improves vision and visual functioning; the effect on general health is not established. We investigated if vision, visual functioning, and general health follow the same trajectory of change the year after cataract surgery and if changes in vision explain changes in visual disability and general health. METHODS: One-hundred forty-eight persons, with a mean (SD) age of 78.9 (5.0) years (70% bilateral surgery), were assessed before and 6 weeks and 12 months after surgery. Visual disability and general health were assessed by the CatQuest-9SF and the Short Formular-36. RESULTS: Corrected binocular visual acuity, visual field, stereo acuity, and contrast vision improved (P < 0.001) from before to 6 weeks after surgery, with further improvements of visual acuity evident up to 12 months (P = 0.034). Cataract surgery had an effect on visual disability 1 year later (P < 0.001). Physical and mental health improved after surgery (P < 0.01) but had returned to presurgery level after 12 months. Vision changes did not explain visual disability and general health 6 weeks after surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Vision improved and visual disability decreased in the year after surgery, whereas changes in general health and visual functioning were short-term effects. Lack of associations between changes in vision and self-reported disability and general health suggests that the degree of vision changes and self-reported health do not have a linear relationship.

Original publication




Journal article


Optom vis sci

Publication Date





392 - 399


Aged, Cataract, Cataract Extraction, Disability Evaluation, Disabled Persons, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Health Status, Humans, Male, Postoperative Period, Prospective Studies, Quality of Life, Surveys and Questionnaires, Visual Acuity