Fear of a cataract operation in aged persons

Psychol Rep. 1993 Jun;72(3 Pt 2):1339-46. doi: 10.2466/pr0.1993.72.3c.1339.


Self-reports of fear from 100 patients (25 men and 75 women 71 to 76 years old) having two cataract operations were investigated. 33% of the patients reported having fear and 32% felt tension about the operation performed on the first eye. Women feared the operation significantly more than men. Fears were significantly associated with hypochondriasis, hysteria, and hypomania (unadjusted) as indicated by correlations with scores on the Mini-Mult MMPI. The cataract operation restored sufficient visual acuity for reading (minimum E-test value 0.40 or 1.8-cm high letters at a distance of 6 meters) to 79% of the subjects. The experience of a good operation result on the first eye significantly reduced the fear of the cataract operation on the second eye and at the same time the fear of becoming blind. Other factors reducing fear included positive experiences of a safe and painless cataract operation.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Blindness / psychology*
  • Blindness / surgery
  • Cataract Extraction / psychology*
  • Fear*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lenses, Intraocular / psychology
  • Male
  • Social Support
  • Visual Acuity