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Impact of first and second eye cataract surgery on physical activity: a prospective study

21 Mar 2019

Objectives

To investigate the impact of first eye and second eye cataract surgery on the level of physical activity undertaken by older adults with bilateral cataract.

Design

Prospective cohort study.

Setting

Three public ophthalmology clinics in Western Australia.

Participants

Fifty-five older adults with bilateral cataract aged 55+ years, awaiting first eye cataract surgery.

Outcome measures

The primary outcome measure was participation in moderate leisure-time physical activity. The secondary outcomes were participation in walking, gardening and vigorous leisure-time physical activity. Participants completed a researcher-administered questionnaire, containing the Active Australia Survey and visual tests before first eye cataract surgery, after first eye surgery and after second eye surgery. A Generalised Estimating Equation linear regression model was undertaken to analyse the change in moderate leisure-time physical activity participation before first eye surgery, after first eye surgery and after second eye surgery, after accounting for relevant confounders.

Results

Participants spent significantly less time per week (20 min) on moderate leisure-time physical activity before first eye cataract surgery compared with after first eye surgery (p=0.04) after accounting for confounders. After second eye cataract surgery, participants spent significantly more time per week (32 min) on moderate physical activity compared with after first eye surgery (p=0.02). There were no significant changes in walking, gardening and vigorous physical activity throughout the cataract surgery process.

Conclusion

First and second eye cataract surgery each independently increased participation in moderate leisure-time physical activity. This provides a rationale for timely first and second eye cataract surgery for bilateral cataract patients, even when they have relatively good vision.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open