Depression in Ophthalmological Patients

Nada Pop-Jordanova 1 , Jovanka Ristova 2 ,  and Sofija Loleska 3
  • 1 Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Skopje, R. Macedonia
  • 2 Okulus Ophtalmological Outpatient Clinic, Shtip, R. Macedonia
  • 3 American College University, Skopje, R. Macedonia

Abstract

Introduction: Vision is the most important sensorial part of the human information system. Visual loss leads to reduced ability to perform routine activities of daily living and can be a risk for stable mental health.

Aim: The aim of this cross-sectional study is to assess the incidence of depression in patients treated in an ophthalmological outpatient clinic. To our knowledge this is the first study of its kind in our country.

Subjects and method: The number of evaluated patients was a hundred; mean age 41.6 ± 15.9 years, with different educational levels and common ophthalmological disorders. For the assessment of the level of depression the Beck Depression Inventory was used. Patients were divided into two groups: serious ophthalmological diagnoses where we expected psychological problems (N = 65) and the simplest ones (N = 35) as a control.

Results: Obtained results show that the levels of depression correlate with the diagnoses. Patients in the first group (serious ophthalmological diagnoses) showed moderate depression in 12% and severe in 13% of patients. It was shown that the most depressed were the patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration and proliferative diabetic retinopathy, as well as glaucoma and cataract. The second group showed BDI scores of normal values. The level of depression is positively correlated with age and the level of education (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Depression is an important mental problem in ophthalmological practice. It is usually unrecognized and untreated. Depression could be the risk factor for treatment and prognosis of eyes diseases. Some measures for mitigation of psychological problems are proposed.

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