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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 14-18

Impact of visual impairment on the wellbeing and functional disability of patients with glaucoma in India

1 Dr. Shroff's Charity Eye Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
3 Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Correspondence Address:
Jigyasa Sahu
Dr. Shroff's Charity Eye Hospital, 5027, Kedarnath Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi - 110 002
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.1016/j.joco.2019.09.006

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Purpose: To investigate the impact of glaucoma-associated vision loss on quality of life and social functioning in Indians. Methods: A cross-sectional study with prospective enrollment was conducted. Participants were divided as: mild, moderate, and severe. Severity of glaucoma was stratified by the degree of binocular visual field loss in accordance with the Nelson Glaucoma Severity Scale (NGSS). The Glaucoma Quality of Life-15 (GQL-15) and a self-developed social function scale (SFS) were utilized to assess patients' wellbeing. Results: A total of 260 patients (mean ± SD age = 58.1 ± 12.01 years; 106 females) participated in the study. Univariate analyses revealed a significant relationship between final quality of life score and number of anti-glaucoma medications (P = 0.01), previous surgeries (P = 0.00), patients age (P = 0.00), patients education level (P = 0.02), and severity of glaucoma (P = 0.00). Previous surgeries (P = 0.04) and severity of glaucoma (P = 0.00) were significant predictors of GQL-15 summary score. With increasing glaucoma severity, patients noted greater difficulty with peripheral vision, glare and dark adaptation, and outdoor tasks (P < 0.0001). Severe glaucoma also impacted patients' functional performance—a significant decline was observed in sense of personal (P < 0.0001) and social wellbeing (P < 0.0001). Conclusions: Patients with advanced glaucoma report significant decline in functioning, their ability to interact in community, take care of self, and do leisure activities. Glaucoma imposes greater social burden on the elderly by impacting their sense of personal safety. Targeted visual and social rehabilitative programs are necessary to improve their wellbeing and independent functioning.

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