Purpose: Accurate diagnosis and early recognition of dry eye symptoms are important in the management of dry eye disease (DED). This study aimed to evaluate concordance between patient and clinician assessment of DED severity and treatment response. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2 ophthalmology clinics in Taiwan. Clinicians assessed severity based on the Dry Eye Workshop severity grading (levels 1-4; where 4 = most severe), whereas patients completed the Ocular Surface Disease Index questionnaire. To evaluate the treatment response, patients completed the Subject Global Assessment scale, and clinicians independently assessed patients using the Clinical Global Impression scale. Results: A total of 466 patients were included. Clinicians graded 88.3% of patients as level 1/2, 9.0% as level 3, and 2.7% as level 4 Dry Eye Workshop severity, whereas 44.9% of patients reported normal/mild symptoms, 17.1% with moderate severity, and 38.0% with severe DED. Patients were primarily treated with artificial tears. The clinician assessed 10.3% of patients as unchanged on disease severity after treatment and 88.0% as improved, whereas 49.2% of patients reported dry eye symptoms being almost the same after treatment and 34.6% reported improved symptoms. There was low agreement between clinician and patient assessments in terms of disease severity (rho = 0.17, P , 0.001) and treatment response (rho = 0.22, P , 0.001). Conclusions: There were marked differences in the degree of DED severity and treatment response between patient and clinician assessment. Clinicians may underestimate DED severity and persistence of dry eye symptoms after treatment with artificial tears.
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