Patient and Economic Burden of Presbyopia: A Systematic Literature Review

Purpose: The objective of this systematic literature review (SLR) was to collate, report, and critique published evidence related to epidemiology and patient and economic burden of presbyopia.

Patients and methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in MEDLINE®, Embase®, and Cochrane Library databases from the time of inception through October 2018 using Cochrane methodology. Studies published in English language reporting on epidemiology and patient and economic burden of presbyopia were included.

Results: Initial systematic literature search yielded 2,228 citations, of which 55 met the inclusion criteria (epidemiology, 44; patient burden, 14; economic burden, 1) and were included in this review. Globally, 1.09 billion people are estimated to be affected by presbyopia. The reported presbyopia prevalence varied across regions and by age groups, with the highest prevalence of 90% reported in the Latin America region in adults ≥35 years. Presbyopic patients report up to 22% decrease in quality-of-life (QoL) score, and up to 80% patients with uncorrected presbyopia report difficulty in performing near-vision related tasks. About 12% of presbyopes required help in performing routine activities, and these visual limitations reportedly induce distress and low self-esteem in presbyopia patients. Uncorrected presbyopia led to a 2-fold increased difficulty in near-vision-related tasks and a >8-fold increased difficulty in very demanding near-vision-related tasks. Further, uncorrected presbyopia leads to a decrement in patients’ QoL, evident by the low utility values reported in the literature. Annual global productivity losses due to uncorrected and under-corrected presbyopia in working-age population (<50 years) were estimated at US$ 11 billion (0.016% of the global domestic product (GDP) in 2011, which increased to US$ 25.4 billion if all people aged <65 years were assumed to be productive.

Conclusion: Uncorrected presbyopia affects patients' vision-related quality of life due to difficulty in performing near-vision-related tasks. In addition, un-/under-corrected presbyopia could lead to productivity losses in working-age adults.

Freedom of choice, expressions of gratitude: Patient experiences of short-term surgical missions in Guatemala.

Lack of surgical care has been highlighted as a critical global health problem, and short-term medical missions (STMMs) have become a de facto measure to address this shortfall. Participation in STMMs is an increasingly popular activity for foreign medical professionals to undertake in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where their clinical skills may be in short supply. While there is emerging literature on the STMM phenomenon, patient experiences of surgical missions are underrepresented. This research addresses this gap through thirty-seven in-depth interviews with patients or caregivers who received care from a short-term surgical mission within the three years prior to the four-week data collection period in July and August 2013. Interviews were conducted in Antigua, Guatemala and nearby communities, and participants came from 9 different departments of the country. These first-hand accounts of health-seeking through a surgical mission provide important insights into the benefits and challenges of STMMs that patients encounter, including waiting time, ancillary costs, and access to care. Patient agency in care-seeking is considered within the pluralistic, privatized health care context in Guatemala in which foreign participants deliver STMM care.