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Priyanka Jain, Merideth Smith, J Odom, G. Jamie Miller, Charles Moore, Monique Leys; Visual Function Affects Reported Depressive Symptoms and Suicidal Ideation in Older Adults. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):5320.
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To evaluate the relationship of visual function to quality of life as measured on scales of depression, suicidal ideation and life satisfaction in older patients.
We report data on 100 persons who participated in a telephone interview to determine the relationship of prosocial behaviors, e.g., volunteering or giving help, and help received on depression and suicidal ideation in the elderly. The specific depression measures which we employed were the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SLS), the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale Revised (CESDSR), the Reasons for Living Scale (RLS) and the Modified Scale for Suicidal Ideation (MSSI). Patients were aged 60 years or more (mean: 73.48 years; range 60-94) and passed standard cognitive tests to rule out dementia. 55 were female and 45 were male. All participants were recruited from the WVU Eye Institute for the study. Exclusion criteria for the study did not include visual function. Patients ranged from normal vision to severe visual impairment. A chart review determined the monocular visual acuities, ocular disease, duration of disease, and visual fields present within one month of the telephone interview. Visual acuities were converted to LogMAR value. The visual field information in the charts was converted to a 4-point rating scale of field loss severity. Disease duration was expressed to the nearest year. Using correlation analyses and stepwise regression, we determined which of the visual variables predicted depression and/or suicidal ideation in our sample.
Stepwise regression indicated a significant relationship of visual variables to SLS (p < .0001; Multiple R-squared = 0.17 with acuity in the better eye (VA-B) and visual fields (VF) as the relevant independent variables [IV]), to CESDSR (p<.00185; Multiple R-squared = 0.09 with VA-B as the IV), and to MSSI (p < 0.005; Multiple R-squared = 0.10 with VA-B and VF as the IVs) but not to RFL (p<0.22904; Multiple R-squared = 0. .0147). Although 6 of 100 patients reported suicidal thoughts on the MSSI, none were judged to be clinically suicidal.
Our data provide additional support for the importance of visual function in mental health. The visual acuity in the better seeing eye and visual fields have significant impact on quality of life as reflected on scales of life satisfaction, depression, and suicidal ideation.
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