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Relationship Between Legal Blindness and Depression

Matías Osaba, Jimena Doro, Malena Liberal, Jennifer Lagunas, Irene C Kuo, Víctor E Reviglio

Abstract


The higher prevalence rates of depression in visually-impaired individuals than the general population indicates that the condition per se increases the risk of depression. A person that is aware of the progressive loss of visual acuteness may have feelings of insecurity, anxiety, loss of independence and changes in social functioning, leading to depression. Several studies assessing the association between depressive symptoms and severity of vision loss have yielded inconsistent results. Some do not show any association, whereas others reported that depression severity is higher in those with substantial vision loss. The general aim of this manuscript was to determine the prevalence of depression in patients diagnosed with legal blindness in the Eye Care Service at the Hospital Córdoba between June 2016 and June 2017. The study sample consisted of 41 patients. The level of depression was assessed using the Zung scale and the degree of dependence in daily life activities was defined using the Barthel index. Data was anonymized for inclusion in a computer database and statistical confidentiality was protected. Data was analyzed using InfoStat statistical software. The results revealed a relation between legal blindness, degrees of dependency and depressive symptoms in patients of the Eye Care Service of the Hospital Córdoba. It is very important for health professionals to be trained to detect early signs and symptoms of depression and have the necessary tools for such an approach. Epub: October 1, 2019.


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