Comparing Patient-Reported Outcomes of Laser In Situ Keratomileusis and Small-Incision Lenticule Extraction: A Review

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Purpose:Laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and small-incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) are popular refractive surgeries. The objective refractive outcomes of LASIK and SMILE have been studied extensively; both procedures have comparable safety, efficacy, and predictability. However, owing to various psychosocial factors, refractive patients may report dissatisfaction despite good postoperative vision. Hence the importance of studies on subjective patient-reported outcomes. This review discusses the role of psychometric-technique-based validated questionnaires when evaluating subjective outcomes. It also summarizes the literature on patient-reported outcomes for LASIK and SMILE.Design:A literature search was performed on PubMed database to identify studies that have assessed patient-reported outcomes for LASIK and SMILE.Results:Several studies have looked into patient-reported outcome measures for LASIK, but the number of equivalent studies for SMILE is limited. Questionnaires (validated and non-validated) are used to evaluate patient-reported outcomes. Validated questionnaires are designed based on psychometric techniques, such as Classic Test Theory, Item Response Theory, and Rasch analysis. The Quality of Life Impact of Refractive Correction (QIRC) questionnaire, a validated questionnaire administered to both LASIK and SMILE patients, suggests that both groups have comparable vision-related quality of life in the first few months postoperatively; but SMILE might confer a slight advantage in the later postoperative period (postoperative month 6).Conclusions:Future LASIK-SMILE comparative studies utilizing standardized validated questionnaires for patient-reported outcome measures with longer follow-up durations would be a welcome contribution to this important aspect of refractive surgery.

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