Investigating the psychologIcal and economic impact of cataract surgery in Vietnam (VISIONARY)

A study funded by the Fred Hollows Foundation of the household economic impact of cataract in three hospitals at over 400 patients in Vietnam.

Collaborators include Fred Hollows Foundation, 3 major Hospitals in Vietnam and UNSW; Data collection study was completed in 2013. The main finding was that there were significant improvements in the economic circumstances of households 12 months after cataract surgery. This was likely mediated by improvements in annual household income, found to be more likely among households that did not pay out-of-pocket for the direct costs of cataract surgery but also potentially gender dependent, with female cataract patients undergoing surgery returning to households more likely to recover from hardship. A follow up study is now underway that will use these results to quantify the potential return on investment of improving access to cataract surgery through universal coverage. These results are of value in the future design and optimisation of a benefits package seeking to reduce the global prevalence of avoidable blindness, and its unequal distribution, by the year 2020.