Background: The aims were to determine the prevalence of the Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS) in low-vision patients and analyse possible associated ophthalmic and sociodemographic factors.
Method: A semi-structured interview on visual hallucinations was given to 300 adult low-vision patients and 200 elderly general ophthalmic patients. Positive cases were examined with the Geriatric Mental State Schedule and the Mini Mental State Examination. Diagnostic criteria were as follows: complex, persistent, or repetitive visual hallucinations; full or partial retention of insight; no hallucinations in other modalities; and no delusions. Ophthalmic and sociodemographic data were gathered for all patients.
Results: The prevalence of CBS in low-vision patients was 11%. CBS was significantly associated with an age over 64 years and a visual acuity in the best eye of 0.3 or less. No significant associations with ophthalmic diagnoses, patient sex, marital status, or social circumstances were found.
Conclusion: Our findings support association of CBS with sensory deprivation and advanced age.