The better operative outcomes software tool (BOOST) prospective study: improving the quality of cataract surgery outcomes in low-resource settings

Myra B. McGuinness, Elise Moo, Beatrice Varga, Sarity Dodson, Van Charles Lansingh, Serge Resnikoff, Elena Schmidt, Thulasiraj Ravilla, Ganesh-Babu Balu Subburaman, Rohit C. Khanna, Varsha M. Rathi, Simon Arunga, Hans Limburg, Nathan Congdon

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Post-operative vision impairment is common among patients who have undergone cataract surgery in low-resource settings, impacting quality of clinical outcomes and patient experience. This prospective, multisite, single-armed, pragmatic validation study aimed to assess whether receiving tailored recommendations via the free Better Operative Outcomes Software Tool (BOOST) app improved surgical outcomes, as quantified by post-operative unaided distance visual acuity (UVA) measured 1–3 days after surgery.

During the baseline data collection round, surgeons in low and middle-income countries recorded clinical characteristics of 60 consecutive cataract cases in BOOST. Additional data on the causes of poor outcomes from 20 consecutive cases with post-operative UVA of <6/60 (4–12 weeks post-surgery) were entered to automatically generate tailored recommendations for improvement, before 60 additional consecutive cases were recorded during the follow-up study round. Average UVA was compared between cases recorded in the baseline study round and those recorded during follow-up.

Among 4,233 cataract surgeries performed by 41 surgeons in 18 countries, only 2,002 (47.3%) had post-operative UVA 6/12 or better. Among the 14 surgeons (34.1%) who completed both rounds of the study (1,680 cases total), there was no clinically significant improvement in post-operative average UVA (logMAR units ±SD) between baseline (0.50 ± 0.37) and follow-up (0.47 ± 0.36) rounds (mean improvement 0.03, p = 0.486).

Receiving BOOST-generated recommendations did not result in improved UVA beyond what could be expected from prospective monitoring of surgical outcomes alone. Additional research is required to assess whether targeted support to implement changes could potentiate the uptake of app-generated recommendations and improve outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Early online date18 Apr 2024
Publication statusEarly online date - 18 Apr 2024


  • quality improvement
  • low & middle income countries
  • Cataract
  • mobile applications

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