The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog


Study: And speaking of depression!

I know most of you are not interested in retinitis pigmentosa (and many of you probably haven't ever heard of it). My interest in this particular abstract is thus: If somebody has bothered to study depression and quality of life in patients with an eye disease affecting an estimated 100,000 people in the US, surely we've got ample reason to be studying depression in...

1) People who have severe chronic dry eye and/or
2) People who have complications or severe adverse effects from LASIK

BOTH of which groups easily dwarf the RP population and both of which, as anyone from DryEyeTalk or D'Eyealogues can tell you, dramatically affect quality of life.

Doctors treating dry eye, and refractive surgeons, please take note of the last sentence in the abstract. Just substitute "dry eye" for RP.

Depression and the vision-related quality of life in patients with retinitis pigmentosa.
Hahm BJ, Shin YW, Shim EJ, Jeon HJ, Seo JM, Chung H, Yu HG
Br J Ophthalmol. 2008 May;92(5):650-4. Epub 2008 Mar 20.

AIMS: To assess the relationship between depression and the vision-related quality of life in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP). METHODS: The study included 144 patients diagnosed as having RP. The mean age of the patients was 38.5 (SD 13.3) years, and 42% of the subjects were women. They answered the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ) to assess the vision-related quality of life and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) to assess depressive symptoms. Patients were classified into groups with and without depression according to the BDI score. The NEI-VFQ composite and subscale scores were compared between groups. The correlations between the BDI and the NEI-VFQ, weighted visual acuity (WVA) and functional vision score (FVS) were investigated. RESULTS: The depressed group had significantly less subjective visual function compared with the non-depressed group. A negative correlation was observed between the BDI and the NEI-VFQ scores, while no correlation was found between the BDI score and WVA or FVS. CONCLUSION: The RP patients with depression had poorer vision-related functions compared with those patients without depression, which cannot be explained by the visual acuity. Interventions to diagnose and treat depression are necessary to enhance the overall quality of life in RP patients.