Visual loss secondary to glaucoma is related to symptoms of anxiety and depression, according to the results of a study published in the Journal of Glaucoma. This association held regardless of disease duration, according to the report.

The researchers conducted a cross-sectional prevalence study including 200 patients. Patients with glaucoma were classified per the Hodapp-Parrish-Anderson criteria. They were also evaluated with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) questionnaire. 

The severity of disease was linked to higher HADS scores, with the average HADS-anxiety score, 4.6, whereas the average HADS-depression score was 4.1 in the cohort The values of HADS-anxiety scores were 3.1, 4.4, and 7.7 for mild, moderate, and severe glaucoma, respectively. Those for HADS-depression were 2.0, 4.2, and 8.3, respectively. In total, 34.6% of participants had symptoms of anxiety or depression, with 12.5% of these patients representing “definite” cases. HADS scores were not correlated with duration of treatment.


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The results of the study recapitulate findings of similar studies performed worldwide. “Negative thoughts may undermine a patient’s self-confidence, leading to poor treatment compliance and impaired quality of life,” according to the report. “Patients should be made aware about the disease process and the treatment options available at the time of diagnosis.”

The authors recommend giving patients descriptive brochures as a means of patient education on this topic. Physicians can also address the emotional and psychological issues that patients face via a holistic approach to care. Mental-health professionals may also be of help. 

This study’s limitations include its concentrated patient base, and lack of a control group for comparison. The investigators did not assess the influence of covariates including socioeconomic factors and education status. 

Reference

Dayal A, Sodimalla KVK, Chelerkar V, et al. Prevalence of anxiety and depression in patients with primary glaucoma in western India. J Glaucoma. Published online January 1, 2022. doi:10.1097/ijg.0000000000001935

This article originally appeared on Ophthalmology Advisor