Cataract surgery is among the most cost-effective of health interventions. Numerous studies have proven that the quality of life and economic benefits of restoring sight far outweighs the treatment costs.
The Fred Hollows Foundation has supported several key studies to measure these benefits and demonstrate the value of long term funding for eye health care.
VISIONARY Study in Vietnam
The VISIONARY study showed that restoring sight allows people to return to work and helps to lift their families out of hardship and poverty. The study measured people’s wellbeing while they were affected by cataract blindness and then again, 12 months after undergoing cataract surgery. The post-surgery follow-up showed positive improvements to people’s employment, finances, physical wellbeing and mental health.
Berle D, Steel Z, Essue BM, et al. (2017). Multisite prospective investigation of psychological outcomes following cataract surgery in Vietnam. BMJ Global Health, 2:e000162
Essue BM, Li Q, Hackett ML, et al. (2014). Multicenter prospective cohort study of quality of life and economic outcomes after cataract surgery in Vietnam: The VISIONARY Study. Ophthalmology, 121, 2138-2146.
Cataract Impact Study
The Cataract Impact Study is evidence that the benefits of restoring sight last for the long term. The study found that 6 years after having their sight restored by cataract surgery, people had sustained improvements to their financial situation and quality of life. The gap had been closed in their economic and social wellbeing.
Danquah L, Kuper H, Eusbeio C, et al. (2014). The long term impact of cataract surgery on quality of life, activities and poverty: Results from a six year longitudinal study in Bangladesh and the Philippines. PLoS One 9, e94140.
Polack S, Eusebio C, Mathenge W, et al. The Impact of cataract surgery on activities and time-use: Results from a longitudinal study in Kenya, Bangladesh and the Philippines. PLoSOne, 5, Issue 6