Does Early Intervention with Low Vision Aids Reduce Depression in Macular Degeneration Patients?

March 1, 2012

At the World Ophthalmology Congress held in late February in Abu Dhabi, a small study indicated that early intervention using low-vision aids can greatly reduce the severity of depression related to vision loss in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The study was led by Susanne Trauzettel-Klosinski, MD, from the Low Vision Clinic and Research Laboratory, Centre for Ophthalmology, University of Tübingen, Germany.

Historic data indicate that the prevalence of depressive symptoms among the visually impaired is as high as 42%, and that depression negatively affects the rehabilitation process because of concentration difficulty, cognitive decline, and loss of goal-oriented motivation.

In this randomized controlled study, 22 patients 65 to 85 years of age with AMD were randomized to either immediate intervention with low-vision aid training or to a 3-month wait before the initiation of rehabilitation (control group).

The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of immediate low-vision rehabilitation on the occurrence of depressive symptoms in patients with AMD.

The results of the study showed that professional visual rehabilitation has positive effects on reducing depression in AMD patients.

Read more about the study on Medscape.




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