PURPOSE: To investigate the impact of visual function parameters on computer task performance in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). DESIGN: Interventional case series. METHODS: Eighteen patients with visual impairment due to age-related macular degeneration underwent evaluation of visual acuity using the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study protocol, contrast sensitivity using a Pelli-Robson chart, binocular simultaneous visual field using the Esterman program on an automated perimeter, and color vision using Farnsworth D-15. Each subject then completed 125 computer icon identification tasks. Relationships between computer task performance (accuracy and speed) and visual function parameters (visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, visual field, and color vision) were analyzed. RESULTS: Visual acuity and contrast sensitivity in the better eye, weighted average contrast sensitivity, and color vision defects are significantly associated with computer task accuracy. Visual acuity in the better eye, weighted average visual acuity, and color vision defects are significantly associated with performance speed. Visual function parameters and clinical features significantly associated with computer task accuracy in a multiple regression model include weighted average contrast sensitivity (P = 0.001), protan color vision defect (P = 0.002), cataract severity in the better-seeing eye (P = 0.036), and geographic atrophy outside the central macula (P = 0.046). Visual function parameters and clinical features significantly associated with computer task speed in a multiple regression model include color vision defects (deutan, P < 0.001; protan, P < 0.001) and gender (P = 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Among this cohort of patients with AMD, visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and color vision defects are significant predictors of computer task performance. Visual function parameters of the better eye played a more significant role than parameters of the worse eye, and contrast sensitivity is the most significant predictor of computer task accuracy.
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