Effects of Visual Impairment on Quality of Life in Children Aged 3-7 Years

Bonifacio Buño II, MD, and Andrea Kristina Monzon-Pajarillo, MD

University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital, Manila

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences,

Sentro Oftalmologico Jose Rizal

Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

Disclosure: The authors report no conflict of interest. No financial support was received for the conduct of this study



Objective: The primary goal of this study was to determine the effect of visual impairment (VI) on the quality of life (QoL) in children aged 3-7 years.

Methodology: This was a cross-sectional study involving 138 parents or caregivers of children aged 3-7 years from Pediatric Ophthalmology and General Ophthalmology Clinics of a tertiary government hospital. The Filipino version of the Children’s Visual Function Questionnaire (CVFQ3plus), an instrument that measures the impact of visual impairment on the QoL of children aged 3-7 years and their families, was used. It has 6 subscales: general health, general vision, competence, personality, family impact, and treatment. T-test was used to compare the total index QoL score and subscale scores between children with VI (n=69) and the control group (n=69). The multivariate regression model based on the total index QoL score in children with VI was used to assess the effect of other demographic factors.

Results: Children with VI had significantly lower total index QoL score (p=0.02), general vision (p=0.04), competence (p=0.00), and personality (p=0.02) subscale scores than the control group. The visual acuity of children with VI had a significant effect on the total index QoL score (p=0.04). Demographic factors like patient’s age and sex, and parental age, sex and educational attainment had no effect on total index QoL score.

Conclusion: Visual impairment has a negative effect on the quality of life of Filipino children aged 3-7 years as shown by the use of the CVFQ3plus.

Keywords: Visual impairment, quality of life, children’s visual function questionnaire, low vision.