PURPOSE: To evaluate the effectiveness of first eye cataract surgery on drivers aged 60 years and over at a population level.
METHODS: A retrospective before and after comparison of all police reported crashes for patients who had undergone first eye cataract surgery using linked Western Australia data for the period 1997-2006. An economic analysis by the type of crash was performed on the cost savings from cataract surgery for this cohort.
RESULTS: Of the 27,827 patients who underwent cataract surgery in one eye only, 1715 patients were involved in 1762 police reported crash events, either 1 year before (n = 941 crashes) or 1 year after (n = 821 crashes) cataract surgery. Results from Poisson generalized estimating equations showed a significant reduction of 12.7% (P = 0.034) in all police reported crashes 1 year after cataract surgery. The corresponding cost savings amounted to $4.3 million.
CONCLUSION: The findings are important for policy development to further improve driving outcomes among older drivers.