Indication criteria for cataract extraction and gender differences in waiting time.
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate national indication criteria tool for cataract extraction (NIKE), a clinical tool for establishing levels of indications for cataract surgery, in relation to gender differences in waiting times for cataract extraction (CE). Methods: Data were collected by The Swedish National Cataract Register (NCR). Eye clinics report to NCR voluntarily and on regular basis (98% coverage). Comparisons regarding gender difference in waiting times were performed between NIKE-categorized and non-NIKE-categorized patients, as well as between different indication groups within the NIKE-system. All calculations were performed in spss version 20. Multivariate analyses were carried out using logistic regression, and single variable analyses were carried out by Student's t-test or chi square as appropriate. Results: Gender, age, visual acuity and NIKE-categorization were associated with waiting time. Female patients had a longer waiting time to CE than male, both within and outside the NIKE-system. Gender difference in waiting time was somewhat larger among patients who had not been categorized by NIKE. In the non-NIKE-categorized group, women waited 0.20 months longer than men. In the group which was NIKE-categorized, women waited 0.18 months longer than men. Conclusions: It is reasonable to assume that prioritizing patients by means of NIKE helps to reduce the gender differences in waiting time. Gender differences in waiting time have decreased as NIKE was introduced and there may be a variety of explanations for this. However, with the chosen study design, we could not distinguish between effects related to NIKE and those due to other factors which occurred during the study period.