Purpose: The aims of our study were to investigate whether laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) improves health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and to identify factors that affect postoperative HRQoL. Materials and methods: A total of 213 Japanese patients who underwent primary LASIK were analyzed in this study. The average age of patients was 35.0±9.4 years. The subjects were asked to answer questions regarding subjective quality of vision, satisfaction, and quality of life (using the Japanese version of 36-Item Short Form Health Survey Version 2) at three time points: before LASIK, 1 month after LASIK, and 6 months after LASIK. Longitudinal changes over 6 months in the outputs of mental component summary (MCS) score and the physical component summary (PCS) score from the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey Version 2 questionnaire were compared between time points using a linear mixed-effects model. Delta MCS and PCS were calculated by subtracting the postoperative score (1 month after LASIK) from the preoperative score. Preoperative and postoperative factors associated with a change in the MCS score or PCS score were evaluated via a linear regression model. Results: The preoperative MCS score was 51.0±9.4 and increased to 52.0±9.8 and 51.5±9.6 at 1 month and 6 months after LASIK, respectively, and the trend for the change from baseline in MCS through 6 months was significant (P=0.03). PCS score did not change following LASIK. Delta MCS was significantly negatively associated with preoperative spherical equivalent, axial length, and postoperative quality of vision, after adjusting for potential confounding factors. Conclusion: Mental HRQoL is not lost with LASIK, and LASIK may improve mental HRQoL. Preoperative axial length may predict postoperative mental HRQoL.
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