Purpose: To examine the relationship between stress and anterior uveitis using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and the Social Readjustment Rating Questionnaire (SRRQ).
Methods: Patients attending eye casualty with acute anterior uveitis (AAU) and suitable controls were asked to complete the GHQ and the SRRQ. A follow-up postal survey, using the same questionnaires, was repeated at least 3 months later amongst AAU patients only. Scores for the GHQ and SRRQ at initial presentation and at follow-up were compared for different groups.
Results: Over 12 months, 42 patients and 25 controls participated in the first stage of this study. Patients with AAU had higher GHQ scores than controls (mean 6.8 versus 3.2, p = 0.01). A total of 25 patients responded to the follow-up postal survey. At follow-up, 13 had experienced resolution and 12 had recurrence. In the group with resolution, there was a significant fall in GHQ scores (mean 6.1 versus 1.5, p = 0.0044). Patients with recurrence had higher GHQ scores than those with resolution (mean 6.8 versus 1.5, p = 0.02).
Conclusions: Using the GHQ reveals a clear relationship between stress and the recurrence of AAU in susceptible individuals.