Depression and visual functioning in patients with ocular inflammatory disease

Am J Ophthalmol. 2012 Feb;153(2):370-378.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2011.06.028. Epub 2011 Sep 14.


Purpose: To characterize the level of depression in patients with ocular inflammatory disease and to determine predictors of depression in this population.

Design: Prospective cross-sectional survey and medical record review.

Methods: Participants were consecutive patients with noninfectious ocular inflammatory disease in a university-based tertiary referral center. Subjects were given the self-administered Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire-25 (NEI VFQ-25), and additional supplemental questions. Medical records were reviewed for clinical characteristics. Univariate analyses were conducted to compare clinical characteristics between patients with and without a positive screen for depression, and a multivariate regression model was performed to determine the most significant predictors of depression.

Results: Of the 104 participants, 26.9% screened positive for depression with the BDI-II. Of these subjects, only 39.3% had been previously diagnosed with depression. NEI VFQ-25 scores were significantly lower in depressed patients in all subscales except driving and color vision. Predictors of depression were inadequate emotional support, lower visual functioning (VFQ composite score), history of changing immunomodulatory treatment, and current oral corticosteroid use.

Conclusions: Depression may be a significant but underrecognized comorbid condition in patients with ocular inflammatory disease. Worse visual function was associated with depression. The authors recommend heightened awareness of potential depression in patients with ocular inflammatory disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / complications*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Uveitis / complications*
  • Uveitis / diagnosis
  • Uveitis / physiopathology
  • Vision Disorders / complications*
  • Vision Disorders / diagnosis
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology
  • Visual Acuity / physiology*