Change of visual acuity recording methods in clinical studies across the years

T.N. Moutray, M.A. Williams, A.J. Jackson, Michael Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To report any differences in the visual acuity (VA) recording method used in peer-reviewed ophthalmology clinical studies over the past decade. Methods: We reviewed the method of assessing and reporting VA in 160 clinical studies from 2 UK and 2 US peer-reviewed journals, published in 1994 and 2004. Results: The method used to assess VA was specified in 62.5% of UK-published and 60% of US-published papers. In the results sections of the UK publications the VA measurements presented were Snellen acuity (n = 58), logMAR acuity (n = 20) and symbol acuity (n = 1). Similarly in the US publications the VA was recorded in the results section using Snellen acuity (n = 60) and logMAR acuity (n = 14). Overall 10% of the authors appeared to convert Snellen acuity measurements to logMAR format. Five studies (3%) chose to express Snellen-type acuities in decimal form, a method which can easily lead to confusion given the increased use of logMAR scoring systems. Conclusion: The authors recommend that to ensure comparable visual results between studies and different study populations it would be useful if clinical scientists worked to standardized VA testing protocols and reported results in a manner consistent with the way in which they are measured.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-177
Number of pages5
JournalOphthalmologica: International Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2008


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