Two dry eye questionnaires designed to help practitioners better document their findings and understand the impact of the condition on everyday life have proven their worthiness for clinical practice in new peer-reviewed research.

The need for SPEED. The first, called the standard patient evaluation of eye dryness (SPEED) questionnaire, was compared to four existing dry eye questionnaires: the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), Dry Eye Questionnaire, MacMonnies Dry Eye Questionnaire and Subjective Evaluation of Symptom of Dryness.

Fifty test subjects—30 symptomatic and 20 asymptomatic—were enrolled in the study, published in the September 2013 issue of the journal Cornea. Over the course of two visits, the subjects completed all five of the aforementioned dry eye questionnaires.

The study demonstrated the validity and repeatability of the SPEED questionnaire in clinical settings. Researchers closely examined the correlation between SPEED and the OSDI questionnaire—the profession’s current “gold standard.”

The SPEED questionnaire accurately segregated the symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects, similar to the OSDI questionnaire, with the added benefit of offering practitioners a more simplified scoring system. The four subsets of the SPEED questionnaire (See “What the Questionnaires Record”) require patients to fill out a numerical scoring system ranging from 0-4 to describe the severity and frequency of symptoms. This helps to expedite the survey experience for patients, while still maintaining accuracy when reporting symptoms. 

Use DEQS for success. Another dry eye patient questionnaire was recently developed and tested by researchers in Japan. Dubbed the Dry Eye-Related Quality-of-Life Score Questionnaire (DEQS), it seeks to assess the impact dry eye disease has on patients’ quality of life.

DEQS, much like SPEED, is a concise and simplified dry eye symptom questionnaire. The questionnaire originally was designed to include 35 items, but after multiple rounds of research this number was reduced to 15 items. The survey is broken up into an Overall Summary scale and two multi-item subscales: Impact on Daily Life and Bothersome Ocular Symptoms.

The DEQS study, published in the August 2013 issue of JAMA Ophthalmology, examined the experience of 224 subjects: 203 symptomatic and 21 unaffected. Participants in the study were asked to fill out DEQS in addition to the Short-form-8 and National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire-25.

Analysis of the results of DEQS demonstrated a strong correlation to the mental component of the Short-form-8, as well as a correlation with four of the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire-25’s subscales.

With these two new examples of dry eye questionnaires, practitioners have access to easier methods for assessing the impact that dry eye has on patients’ comfort and quality of life.

The SPEED questionnaire can be downloaded at

  What the Questionnaires Record
The SPEED questionnaire is broken up into four subsets: (1) symptoms, (2) frequency of symptoms, (3) severity of symptoms and  (4) a brief yes or no question that asks if patients are currently using eye drops for lubrication. By using a numerical scale, the survey makes reporting symptoms easy for patients, and analysis a breeze for clinicians.

The DEQS questionnaire’s 15-item list makes it more extensive than SPEED, but with a different emphasis. While SPEED focuses solely on the frequency and severity of symptoms, the DEQS questionnaire contains an additional section on the impact dry eye has on patients’ daily life, which gives the survey the added benefit of “real world” relevance.