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Depressive symptomatology high in patients undergoing glaucoma treatment

07 Oct 2018

Patients newly diagnosed with glaucoma are highly likely to report depressive symptoms, with risk factors including young age and female sex, among others, a study has found. Depressive symptomatology appears to decrease considerably 1 year after treatment but remains elevated in patients with impaired vision-related quality of life.

The study included 607 individuals with newly diagnosed open-angle glaucoma enrolled in the Collaborative Initial Glaucoma Treatment Study and randomized to treatment with medication or surgery. Evaluations were conducted every 6 months over 9 years. All patients completed the 8-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) at baseline and during follow-up visits.

Outcomes investigated included overall CES-D depression score, presence of mild or worse depression (CES-D score ≥7), and number of depressive symptoms endorsed.

At baseline, mean CES-D score was 2.4, 12.5 percent of patients reported symptomatology associated with mild or worse depression, and 53 percent reported 1 symptom. These numbers dropped to 1.5, 6.7 percent and 38.4 percent, respectively, by 1-year post-treatment.

Baseline factors predictive of mild or worse depression included worse vision-related quality of life (odds ratio [OR], 2.41), female sex (OR, 1.42), younger age (OR per 10 years younger, 1.24) and lower than high-school education (OR, 2.93).

The present data show that although depressive symptoms diminish over time after diagnosis, clinicians should closely monitor for these symptoms especially in patients who are more likely to experience them, researchers said.

Additionally, it is important that clinicians provide reassurance when appropriate and make referrals as necessary, given the potential of depression to reduce treatment adherence and thus increase the risk of glaucoma progression, researchers added.

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