The development of the Screening of Visual Complaints questionnaire for patients with neurodegenerative disorders: Evaluation of psychometric features in a community sample

Famke Huizinga, Joost Heutink*, Gera de Haan, Iris van der Lijn, Fleur van der Feen, Anne Vrijling, Bart Melis-Dankers, Stefanie de Vries, Oliver Tucha, Janneke Koerts

*Corresponding author for this work

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Patients with neurodegenerative disorders often experience impairments in visual function. In research and clinical care, visual problems are primarily understood as objective visual impairments. Subjective complaints, referring to complaints from a patient's perspective, receive less attention, while they are of utmost clinical importance to guide assessment and rehabilitation. A 21-item Screening of Visual Complaints questionnaire (SVC) was developed for the assessment of subjective visual complaints in patients with neurodegenerative disorders. This prospective study aims to evaluate the psychometric properties of the SVC in a large community sample.

METHODS: A stratified convenience sample of 1,461 healthy Dutch participants (18-95 years) without severe self-reported neurological, ophthalmological or psychiatric conditions completed the SVC, Cerebral Visual Complaints questionnaire (CVC-q), National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire-25 (NEI-VFQ-25), Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-A (BRIEF-A), Questionnaire for Experiences of Attention Deficits (Fragebogen erlebter Defizite der Aufmerkzamkeit; FEDA), Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) and the Structured Inventory for Malingered Symptomatology (SIMS) online. After two weeks, 66 participants completed the SVC again. We evaluated the factor structure, internal consistency, convergent and divergent validity, and test-retest reliability of the SVC.

RESULTS: The sample was split in two subsamples to perform exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. In the first subsample, the exploratory factor analysis extracted three factors from the SVC: diminished visual perception, altered visual perception and ocular discomfort. The confirmatory factor analysis showed this model to be valid in the second subsample. The SVC showed satisfactory convergent validity (NEI-VFQ-25: r = -0.71; CVC-q: r = 0.84) and divergent validity (SIMS: r = 0.26; BRIEF-A: r = 0.29; FEDA: r = 0.40; DASS-21: r = 0.34) and good internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.85) and test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.82).

CONCLUSIONS: The SVC is a valid and reliable tool for the assessment of subjective visual complaints in a community sample and appears promising for clinical use in patients with neurodegenerative disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0232232
Number of pages24
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 29-Apr-2020


  • VFQ-25

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