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Saskia M. Maca, Lamiss Mejdoubi, Talin Barisani-Asenbauer; The Impact of Uveitis on health-related Quality of Life in Adolescents. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):4164.
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A reduction of quality of life (QoL) during an active phase of disease is obvious and has been shown for patients with uveitis - in adults, as well as in children and adolescents. But, adult uveitis patients were shown to also have reduced QoL-values despite disease was quiescent. As adolescence is an especially sensible and challenging stage of life, it seems important to evaluate the psychodynamics of quiescent uveitis in this patient group. Given the assumption that juvenile uveitis patients suffer from reduced QoL although the disease itself is inactive, this would imply the nescessity to pay special attention to this patient group and to establish psychological counseling as an integral part of treatment.
This clinic-based, cross-sectional pilot study to assess the overall health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in adolescents (11-18 yrs.) with a history of quiescent uveitis and good visual function was performed at the uveitis unit, Medical University of Vienna. Two independent generic (non-disease-specific) instruments were applied, the Inventory for Assessing the Quality of Life and the German KINDL-R-questionnaire. Comparative peer group values of healthy individuals were obtained from the respective questionnaire manuals. In addition, adolescents were asked whether they had the feeling that their parents worried about them and their eye disease and whether they themselves feared to become blind one day. Data concerning socio-demographics (gender, age, anatomical classification of uveitis following the SUN-criteria, age at onset, time since diagnosis, uni-or bilateral disease, best-corrected visual acuity at time of questionnaire and presence of long-term immunosuppressive therapy were collected from the respective patients’ files.
37 adolescents, 20 girls (54.1%) and 17 boys with a mean age of 14.6±2.5 yrs and diagnosis since 4.51±2.18 yrs participated. Factors associated with a reduced HRQoL were anterior localization of uveitis, bilateral disease, application of immunosuppressive therapy, a short time since diagnosis and a high number of recurrences.
Even despite quiescence of disease and good visual function certain risk factors may result in a decreased HRQoL in juvenile uveitis patients. Our findings support the need of further evaluation of HRQoL in this patient group, the validation of specific psychometric inventories for this disease and the establishment of interdisciplinary collaboration including psychological counseling.
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