PURPOSE. A large proportion of patients who undergo LASIK report high satisfaction levels with less than 5% of patients distressed by the outcomes of the surgery. Hypothesized reasons for dissatisfaction encompass a variety of elements of near vision, distance vision, glare, haloes, starburst, ghosting, and psychosocial variables. METHOD. Two-hundred twenty-four patients undergoing bilateral LASIK were asked to complete a survey of questions pertaining to their visual functioning (Brennan-Mojord questionnaire) and psychological well-being (Erickson HPQ) 6 months after bilateral LASIK. ‘No opinion’ responses were treated as missing data. One hundred fifty subjects completed the questionnaires without missing data and were included in the analysis.
RESULTS. A factor analysis yielded 3 important factors when examining patient response patterns. The strongest factor consisted of questions pertaining to distance vision. The next factor consisted of responses to questions related to psychological well-being and the third factor of questions principally about near vision. In a stepwise multiple regression to examine the contribution of each factor to overall satisfaction with the vision after LASIK, questions related to distance vision accounted for 36% of the variance in the model. While specific questions related to psychological well-being and near vision were significantly correlated to high ratings of vision after LASIK, the principal factors related to these phenomena were not included in the regression model.
CONCLUSIONS. Distance vision outcomes appear to dominate overall satisfaction with vision after LASIK and psychological well-being and near vision variables are less important.