To identify and comprehensively evaluate studies capturing the experience of individuals affected by an inherited optic neuropathy (ION), focusing on patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) and qualitative studies where the health status and quality of life (QoL) of these individuals have been explored.
Systematic review of five databases using a search strategy combining four concepts: (1) ION; (2) QoL and health status; (3) PROMs; and (4) qualitative research. Studies assessing the impact of ION on any QoL domain using a PROM or qualitative methodology were included and appraised, using criteria based on the COSMIN checklist (for PROM studies) and the CASP checklist (for qualitative studies).
Of 1326 unique articles identified, six studies were included. Five PROMs were identified: Visual Function Index (VF-14); Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS); a novel graphical online assessment tool (NGOAT) for reporting emotional response to vision loss; a new PROM informed by the DSM-V Criteria for Major Depressive Disorder; and an interpersonal and career ‘impact rating’ PROM. The psychometric performance of included PROMs were poorly described. Qualitative studies found that vision loss resulted in psychosocial losses including loss of social and communication skills and loss of independence and freedom. Factors that modified the response to vision loss were also identified.
The current PROMs used by individuals with ION have poor content coverage, primarily measuring activity limitation and emotional well-being, and insufficient reporting of psychometric performance. There is a need to develop a PROM for individuals ION to report their experiences of living with their condition.