This peer-reviewed report provides a systematic worldwide overview of LASIK patient satisfaction as of 2008. Report findings were first released last year by the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS). LASIK has been assessed and improved by more than a decade of clinical studies and technological innovation since the procedure was introduced.
The report notes that 16.3 million surgeries have been performed worldwide to date, and about one million LASIK surgeries are done annually in the United States.
The review found an overall patient satisfaction rate of 95.4 percent (2,097 of 2,198 subjects), with a range of 87.2 to 100 percent. "This places LASIK among the most successful of all elective surgeries, comparing very favorably with other elective procedures," said lead researcher Kerry D. Solomon, MD, Magill Vision Center and Storm Eye Institute, Medical University of South Carolina. "Because this review process was systematic, transparent, and based on carefully vetted international and U.S. research, the findings are highly reliable." Measuring patient satisfaction is increasingly important in health care. For an elective surgery like LASIK, satisfaction criteria include whether the patients' physical, emotional, and financial expectations are met and physical and psychological benefits achieved.
The researchers looked at whether patient satisfaction with LASIK has changed over time by comparing rates for surgeries performed 1995 to 2000 with those performed 2001 and after. The rate was 96.0 percent in the earlier period and 94.6 percent in the later period, confirming consistently high patient satisfaction. The review also analyzed satisfaction rates in relation to questionnaire characteristics, administration methods and timing, type of patient refractive error (near- or farsightedness, astigmatism) and country. All analyses showed very high overall patient satisfaction rates. Questionnaires used in all studies allowed patients to rate their satisfaction on graduated scales, from "satisfied" to "dissatisfied." Five articles offered an "undecided" category, and patients who selected this option were not included in the review analysis.
The research team reviewed 19 studies from 13 countries representing the U.S. and most areas of the world, encompassing 2,198 subjects who had LASIK between 1995 and 2003. A comprehensive international literature search performed by a Storm Eye Institute panel had identified 309 peer-reviewed, well-designed studies of primary (original) LASIK surgery, of which 19 reported on both patient quality of life and satisfaction. All were randomized, controlled clinical trials, or cohort or case-controlled studies.
This research was published in the April issue of Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (Academy).
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