Depression and Mood Indicators in Newly Diagnosed Glaucoma Patients


      To assess depression and mood indicators in subjects newly diagnosed with chronic open-angle glaucoma.


      Cross-sectional study of data from a randomized clinical trial.


      Newly-diagnosed glaucoma patients enrolled in the Collaborative Initial Glaucoma Treatment Study (CIGTS) responded at baseline to quality-of-life (QOL) telephone interviews. We studied responses to the 33-item Visual Activities Questionnaire (VAQ), six items from a disease-specific Health Perceptions Index (HPI), and eight questions from the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). We correlated the responses to the HPI and the CES-D with visual acuity (VA) and CIGTS visual field (VF) as well as to the responses to the VAQ.


      VAQ score was correlated (P < .01 in all cases) with better VA (P = −0.181), better VF (P = 0.139), worse VA (P = −0.128), and worse VF (P = .120). There were also correlations (P ranging from .24 to .38, all P values ≤ .001) between patients’ perception of their vision (total VAQ score) and each item on the HPI and CES-D. None of the clinical vision measures were associated with any of the CES-D items. The strongest correlation between a clinical measure and an item from the HPI was between worse VF and worry about the possibility of blindness (P = −0.114, P = .005). The odds ratio of reporting mood indicators and symptoms of depression increased with patients’ perceptions of worsening visual function but not worsening VA or VF.


      In these newly diagnosed glaucoma patients, symptoms of depression and altered mood were related to worse self-reported visual function as assessed by the VAQ, but not to monocular clinical measures of visual function.
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      Henry D. Jampel, MD, MHS, is the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. He is the Associate Editor-in-Chief of Ophthalmology, serves on the Glaucoma Preferred Practice Pattern committee of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and is Co-Director of the Glaucoma Subspecialty Day 2007 at the Annual Meeting of the Academy.