Factors influencing the output of rural cataract surgical facilities in China: the SHARP study

Tingting Chen, Ling Jin, Zhongqiang Zhou, Yiwen Huang, Xixi Yan, Tianyu Liu, Ee Lin Ong, Bin Liu, Wenyong Huang, Beatrice Iezzi, Mingguang He, David S Friedman, Nathan G Congdon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To identify factors associated prospectively with increased cataract surgical rate (CSR) in rural Chinese hospitals.

Methods: Annual cataract surgical output was obtained at baseline and 24 months later from operating room records at 42 rural, county-level hospitals. Total local CSR (cases/million population/y), and proportion of CSR from hospital and local competitors were calculated from government records. Hospital administrators completed questionnaires providing demographic and professional information, and annual clinic and outreach screening volume. Independent cataract surgeons provided clinical information and videotapes of cases for grading by two masked experts using the Ophthalmology Surgical Competency Assessment Rubric (OSCAR). Uncorrected vision was recorded for 10 consecutive cataract cases at each facility, and 10 randomly-identified patients completed hospital satisfaction questionnaires. Total value of international nongovernmental development organization (INGDO) investment in the previous three years and demographic information on hospital catchment areas were obtained. Main outcome was 2-year percentage change in hospital CSR.

Results: Among the 42 hospitals (median catchment population 530,000, median hospital CSR 643), 78.6% (33/42) were receiving INGDO support. Median change in hospital CSR (interquartile range) was 33.3% (-6.25%, 72.3%). Predictors of greater increase in CSR included higher INGDO investment (P = 0.02, simple model), reducing patient dissatisfaction (P = 0.03, simple model), and more outreach patient screening (P = 0.002, simple and multiple model).

Conclusions: Outreach cataract screening was the strongest predictor of increased surgical output. Government and INGDO investment in screening may be most likely to enhance output of county hospitals, a major goal of China's Blindness Prevention Plan.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1283-1291
Number of pages9
JournalInvestigative Opthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


  • Adult
  • Cataract Extraction
  • China
  • Clinical Competence
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Rural
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


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