Purpose: To assess depression and mood indicators in subjects newly diagnosed with chronic open-angle glaucoma.
Design: Cross-sectional study of data from a randomized clinical trial.
Methods: Newly-diagnosed glaucoma patients enrolled in the Collaborative Initial Glaucoma Treatment Study (CIGTS) responded at baseline to quality-of-life (QOL) telephone interviews. We studied responses to the 33-item Visual Activities Questionnaire (VAQ), six items from a disease-specific Health Perceptions Index (HPI), and eight questions from the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). We correlated the responses to the HPI and the CES-D with visual acuity (VA) and CIGTS visual field (VF) as well as to the responses to the VAQ.
Results: VAQ score was correlated (P < .01 in all cases) with better VA (P = -0.181), better VF (P = 0.139), worse VA (P = -0.128), and worse VF (P = .120). There were also correlations (P ranging from .24 to .38, all P values < or = .001) between patients' perception of their vision (total VAQ score) and each item on the HPI and CES-D. None of the clinical vision measures were associated with any of the CES-D items. The strongest correlation between a clinical measure and an item from the HPI was between worse VF and worry about the possibility of blindness (P = -0.114, P = .005). The odds ratio of reporting mood indicators and symptoms of depression increased with patients' perceptions of worsening visual function but not worsening VA or VF.
Conclusions: In these newly diagnosed glaucoma patients, symptoms of depression and altered mood were related to worse self-reported visual function as assessed by the VAQ, but not to monocular clinical measures of visual function.