The association between legal Japanese visual impairment grades and vision-related quality of life

Motoko Kawashima, Yoshimune Hiratsuka, Tadashi Nakano, Hiroshi Tamura, Koichi Ono, Akira Murakami, Sachiko Inoue, Kazuo Tsubota, Masakazu Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study examines the relationship between quality of life (QOL) and the legal Japanese grade of visual impairment as defined by the Physically Disabled Persons Welfare Act. Methods: Participants of this cross-sectional study were 98 Japanese patients legally classified as visually impaired, from six ophthalmology departments. Vision-related QOL was evaluated using the 25-item National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ-25). The short Japanese version of this questionnaire (VFQ-J11) score was calculated from the VFQ-25 results for each participant. Health utility was measured using the EuroQoL Index (EQ-5D). Data were collected for age, gender, vision-disability level, the corrected visual acuity of each eye, and disease type. Results: The mean age was 66.8 years (SD = 17.8). Visual impairment grade was significantly associated with VFQ-J11 score and the composite score developed from the VFQ-25 (p < 0.001), but not with the health utility score obtained from the EQ-5D. Conclusions: In general, the Japanese legally designated grading system for visual impairment reflects the degree of vision-related QOL, but does not reflect general health utility as determined by the EQ-5D.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-225
Number of pages7
JournalJapanese Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 1


  • Grade
  • Quality of life
  • Visual impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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