ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION IN CATARACT SURGERY: A PILOT STUDY IN THE ELDERLY1

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Abstract

To assess anxiety induced by a planned cataract surgery and to evaluate the correlations of rated anxiety and depression with optical acuity pre- and postoperatively, 278 patients ages 65 years or older were tested. Patients were divided into two groups: first-eye and second-eye cataract surgery. Anxiety and depression were evaluated using the Hamilton's Rating Scales for Anxiety and Depression, respectively. Pre-operatively, first-eye patients showed significantly higher anxiety than second-eye patients (F1,251 = 75.39, p < .001). First-eye patients rated peak anxiety on the day of the surgery, while patients scheduled for second-eye cataract surgery presented no fluctuations in rated anxiety (F1,251 = 49.60, p < .001). There was no correlation of preoperative anxiety or depression with the outcome of surgery (F1,251s = .83 and .58, respectively, p > .05). Postoperatively, anxiety and depression in patients without any improvement in their vision were rated significantly higher than in those presenting improved visual acuity after surgery (F1,251 = 566.17 and 300.25, respectively, p < .001).

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