PATIENT’S ACCEPTANCE OF WAITING TIMES FOR CATARACT SURGERY

Jacques Gresset

Abstract

PURPOSE. To examine patient characteristics associated with the perception of an unacceptable waiting time for a first cataract surgery. METHOD. A prospective study on 477 patients dichotomized after surgery according to their acceptance of their own waiting time as either «acceptably long» or «unacceptably long». Differences in pre-surgery characteristics of patients were then assessed by chi-square and t-tests. Patient characteristics were collected one week before surgery, including socio-demographics (age, gender, living alone or not, education), clinical status (best corrected VA of the candidate eye, comorbidities), functional status (VF-14 index, Cataract Symptom Scale (CSS), satisfaction and problems with vision), personal waiting time and expected waiting time for an elective surgery.

RESULTS. The mean waiting time was 181 days (range 13-788) while the mean expected waiting time for an elective surgery was 47 days. 65.2% of the patients evaluated their waiting time as acceptable, and 34.8% as unacceptable. Statistically significant differences between the two groups were found for the waiting time duration, the presence of other medical conditions, the VF-14 score, the CSS-score as well as for the global amount of problem or of satisfaction with vision. None of the socio-demographic data were significantly associated with the acceptance of the waiting time. The waiting time did not correlate with any vision-related factor, except for the global amount of satisfaction with vision.

CONCLUSIONS. Excessive waiting times for elective surgery are a common problem of the publicly-funded universal health insurance systems. Unacceptable waiting time is associated with a longer wait, and a worse pre-operative functional status. This confirms as previous reports that self-reported visual functional measures should be considered for prioritizing patients for surgery.

Details

Year: 2001

Program Number: Poster 26

Author Affiliation: Université de Montréal, Optométrie

Co-Authors: Hélène Boisjoly, Fawzia Djafari, Marie-claude Whitty, Stanislav Ponomarenko, Jean-François Boivin

Co-Author Affiliation: Université de Montréal, Médecine, Unité de recherche en ophtalmologie, Hopital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Université de Montréal, Optométrie, Université de Montréal, Optométrie, McGill University, Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Room: Exhibit Hall C