Improvement in psychiatric symptoms after strabismus surgery in adolescent patients in long-term follow-up

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Abstract

Aims

To assess the psychological effects of preoperative primary eye position and surgical correction of strabismus in adolescent patients.

Methods

Eighty-three adolescent patients with exotropia were included in this observational and prospective study. Patients with preoperative manifest exotropia formed the manifest exotropia group. Patients with intermittent exotropia that had orthophoria with overcorrecting minus lenses and recently increased frequency of manifest phase were indicated for surgery and formed the latent deviation group. All patients were scored with the Turkish version of the Social Appearance Anxiety Scale (SAAS), depression subscale of Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAD-D) Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale (BFNE), state anxiety subscale of State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-S) and trait anxiety subscale of State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-T) before and 1 year after strabismus surgery.

Results

The mean preoperative scores of the HAD-D, SAAS, BFNE, STAI-S and STAI-T before strabismus surgery were significantly higher in the manifest exotropia group than in the latent deviation group (p≤0.001 for all). Surgical correction significantly improved the outcomes of all scales in the manifest exotropia group (p≤0.001 for all). Outcomes of the STAI-S and STAI-T significantly improved in the latent deviation group after the surgery (p=0.008, p=0.006, respectively), whereas outcomes of the HAD-D, SAAS and BFNE did not improve (p=0.079, p=0.071, p=0.127, respectively). The mean postoperative scores of all scales did not differ between the two groups (p>0.05 for all).

Conclusions

Strabismus has psychological consequences in adolescent patients, and the visible eye deviation caused by strabismus is a strong indicator of psychological distress.

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