Assessment of Depression, Anxiety, and Quality of Life in Singaporean Patients With Glaucoma

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To determine the prevalence and risk factors for anxiety disorder and depression among glaucoma patients in Singapore, and to assess the relationship between quality of life (QOL) and depression/anxiety.


In this cross-sectional study, glaucoma patients aged 21 and above with a known diagnosis of primary open-angle glaucoma or primary angle-closure glaucoma were recruited from a tertiary care hospital. Patients with other types of glaucoma, and coexisting ocular or psychiatric disorders were excluded.


Ophthalmic examination was carried out on all participants, which included best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), intraocular pressure (IOP), gonioscopy, standard automated perimetry, and optic disc evaluation. Sociodemographic information and treatment histories were also collected.


The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D), Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A), and Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ25) were administered to evaluate for depression, anxiety, and impact on QOL, respectively.


A total of 100 patients were included in this study. The mean age was 67.1±12.0 years (range, 24 to 90 y). The frequency of depression and anxiety among our patients was 30% and 64%, respectively. The mean HAM-D score was 4.37±4.17 (range, 0 to 17), whereas the mean HAM-A score was 2.38±2.80 (range, 0 to 13). The mean VFQ25 score was 78.8±16.0 (range, 42.4 to 97.0). The poorest subscale on the VFQ25 was driving, with a mean score of 42.4±42.6 (range, 0.0 to 100.0).


We did not find any significant difference between the presence of depression/anxiety between patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (P=0.263) and primary angle-closure glaucoma (P=0.830). Risk factors for depression included: female sex (P=0.020), higher logMAR BCVA in the worse eye (P=0.004), higher cup-disc ratio (P=0.016), lower MD in the better and worse eye (P=0.022 and 0.001, respectively), and lower mean VFQ25 score (P<0.001). Risk factors for anxiety included: lower MD in the worse eye (P=0.004) and lower mean VFQ25 score (P=0.004). There was also no significant association between the use of topical β-blockers/carbonic anhydrase inhibitors with depression (P=0.793) or anxiety (P=0.282).


There is a relatively high prevalence of depression (30%) and anxiety disorders (64%) among glaucoma patients in Singapore. Female glaucoma patients are more likely to suffer from depression. Other risk factors for depression include higher cup-disc ratio, higher logMAR BCVA, lower MD, and a lower mean VFQ25 score. Risk factors for anxiety disorder include lower MD and lower mean VFQ25 score. Ophthalmologists could consider use of the VFQ25 as an assessment for impairments in QOL in a glaucoma patient. If a glaucoma patient is at high risk of depression or anxiety disorder, a multidisciplinary management approach involving ophthalmology and psychiatry may be required.

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