Depressive symptoms and quality of life in people with age- related macular degeneration

Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2011 Jul;31(4):375-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-1313.2011.00848.x. Epub 2011 May 24.


Purpose: To examine quality of life and associated factors in people with Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

Methods: One hundred and forty-five AMD participants (mean age 78.0 ± 7.7 years) and 104 age- and gender- matched controls (mean age 78.1 ± 5.8 years) comprised the study populations for this case-control study. Depressive symptoms were measured with the Goldberg Anxiety and Depression (GAD) scale; general health and daily functioning was assessed with the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (SF-36) and questions relating to assistance required for daily living activities.

Results: People with AMD performed more poorly than controls on the GAD depression scale, and physical functioning subscale of SF-36. 44.4% of people with AMD had clinically significant depressive symptoms compared to 17.5% of controls (p < 0.001). Multiple regression analysis revealed that AMD was independently associated with depressive symptoms and a path model indicated that AMD led to depressive symptoms both directly and indirectly via reduced general health and social functioning.

Conclusion: Psychological and functional outcome measures are reduced in people with AMD. Earlier recognition and treatment of depressive symptoms in people with AMD may be crucial to maintaining quality of life in this group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Macular Degeneration / complications
  • Macular Degeneration / psychology*
  • Male
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Visual Acuity