C55224: Depression: A guide for eye care practitioners – part 2

In the second of two articles looking at the impact of sight loss on mental health, Claire Nollett, one of the DEPVIT study research team, explains the nature and extent of depression in the UK

In part one of this two-part series on depression and sight loss, I introduced the finding that depression is common in people with a visual impairment. To set this in context, I reviewed the diagnostic criteria for depression, examined the theoretical link between depression and sight loss and discussed depression screening questionnaires. In this follow on article, I will present recent research from Cardiff University investigating treatments for people experiencing sight loss and depression, before discussing the important practical steps that you can take to help this cohort of patients.

Current intervention

In part one we learned studies consistently show depression is common in people experiencing sight loss. Results from a number of studies in the USA over the past 20 years have shown the prevalence of depression and depressive symptoms in those attending visual rehabilitation centres is around 22 to 38%.1-4 In response to this, a small number of studies have examined the effectiveness of potential psychological treatments for depression in this population.5-7

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