Chan, Tiffany L.; Goldstein, Judith E.; Massof, Robert W. the Low Vision Research Network Study Group

Comparison of Clinician-Predicted to Measured Low Vision Outcomes

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To compare low-vision rehabilitation (LVR) clinicians’ predictions of the probability of success of LVR with patients’ self-reported outcomes after provision of usual outpatient LVR services and to determine if patients’ traits influence clinician ratings.


The Activity Inventory (AI), a self-report visual function questionnaire, was administered pre-and post-LVR to 316 low-vision patients served by 28 LVR centers that participated in a collaborative observational study. The physical component of the Short Form-36, Geriatric Depression Scale, and Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status were also administered pre-LVR to measure physical capability, depression, and cognitive status. After patient evaluation, 38 LVR clinicians estimated the probability of outcome success (POS) using their own criteria. The POS ratings and change in functional ability were used to assess the effects of patients’ baseline traits on predicted outcomes.



A regression analysis with a hierarchical random-effects model showed no relationship between LVR physician POS estimates and AI-based outcomes. In another analysis, kappa statistics were calculated to determine the probability of agreement between POS and AI-based outcomes for different outcome criteria. Across all comparisons, none of the kappa values were significantly different from 0, which indicates that the rate of agreement is equivalent to chance. In an exploratory analysis, hierarchical mixed-effects regression models show that POS ratings are associated with information about the patient’s cognitive functioning and the combination of visual acuity and functional ability, as opposed to visual acuity or functional ability alone.


Clinicians’ predictions of LVR outcomes seem to be influenced by knowledge of patients’ cognitive functioning and the combination of visual acuity and functional ability—information clinicians acquire from the patient’s history and examination. However, clinicians’ predictions do not agree with observed changes in functional ability from the patient’s perspective; they are no better than chance.

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