Psychosocial effects of age-related macular degeneration
Background: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects approximately 10% of persons aged 65–74 years and 30% of those aged 75 and older and is the major cause of blindness in old age. AMD is progressive and irreversible.
<Aim: To review the psychosocial effects of AMD.
Method: OVID data bases (MEDLINE, psycINFO and CINAHL) from 1966 to 2004 were reviewed.
Results: AMD is associated with functional impairment, high rates of depression, anxiety and emotional distress and increased mortality. Risk factors for depression are not well-defined, except for the degree of functional impairment and impending or actual loss of vision in the second eye. Behavioral and self-management programs may be effective in managing depression associated with AMD, but few studies have been performed, and none using drugs or multimodal therapy.
Conclusion: AMD will become even more prevalent as the population ages. Identification of risk factors for psychological consequences and of effective interventions remain to be recognized.(Received February 3 2005)
(returned for revision April 28 2005)
(revised version received August 25 2005)
(Accepted August 31 2005)
(Published Online February 8 2006)
Key Words: blind; blindness; depression; aging; functional impairment.
c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: H. Brodaty, Academic Department for Old Age Psychiatry, Euroa Centre, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia. Phone: +61 2 9382 3759; Fax: +61 2 9382 3762. Email: [email protected].