Effect of Corneal Transplantation on Patient-Reported Outcomes and Potential Predictors: A Systematic Review

Eline Vreijsen, Ellen B.M. Elsman, Ruth M.A. van Nispen, Rudy M.M.A. Nuijts, Ger H.M.B. van Rens

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PURPOSE: To investigate the effect and potential predictors of corneal transplantation on patient-reported outcomes such as quality of life, visual functioning, and mental health by systematically reviewing the literature. METHODS: Studies with 1 preoperative and at least 1 postoperative measurement were searched for in relevant literature databases. Methodological quality was assessed using the Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies, and effect sizes were calculated. RESULTS: Of 1445 unique publications, 14 studies, including 15 study designs, were described in 16 publications. Four randomized controlled trials, 1 controlled clinical trial, 1 cohort study, and 1 before-after study (BA) were of good quality; 6 BAs were of moderate quality; and 2 BAs were of weak quality. Patients generally improved 12 months after transplantation on health-related quality of life (effect size between 0.08 and -3.06), vision-related quality of life (-0.67 and -6.65), visual functioning (-0.55 and -0.63), and subjective visual symptoms (-0.31 and -0.86). Patient satisfaction was high (-0.95). Patients improved on depression (-0.31) but remained stable on anxiety (-0.05) 4 months after transplantation. Predictors of positive outcomes were lower preoperative visual acuity and visual functioning, better postoperative visual factors, younger age, and male sex. CONCLUSIONS: Corneal transplantation showed overall beneficial effects on patient-reported outcomes. Knowledge of these effects and predictors might result in better treatment, more patient-centered care, and more realistic expectations on the part of patients and ophthalmologists. Future studies should focus on not only health- and vision-related quality of life but also mental health and labor participation using longitudinal study designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1463-1472
Number of pages10
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

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