Vision loss and psychological distress among Ethiopians adults: a comparative cross-sectional study.
BACKGROUND: Vision loss causes major changes in lifestyle and habits that may result in psychological distress and further reduction in the quality of life. Little is known about the magnitude of psychological distress in patients with vision loss and its variation with the normal. The aim of this study is, therefore, to investigate the psychological effects of vision loss and its determinants among Ethiopians.
METHODS: A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted on adults attending the Eye clinic of Jimma University Hospital. One hundred fifteen consecutive adults with visual loss at least in one eye and 115 age-and sex-matched controls with normal vision were studied. The psychological distress was measured using standardized Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20). Chi-square test and logistic regression were carried out and associations were considered significant at P<0.05.
RESULTS: The overall prevalence of psychological distress was 33.4%. While psychological distress was found in 49.8% of patients who had loss of vision at least in one eye, only 18.3% of the controls had it. In the adjusted analysis, patients with vision loss had 4.6 times higher risk of suffering from psychological distress compared to patients with normal vision (AOR 4.56; 95% CI 2.16-9.62). Moreover, patients with vision loss in both eyes (AOR 4.00; 95% CI 1.453-11.015) and with worse visual acuity in the better eye (AOR 3.66; 95% CI 1.27-10.54) were significantly more likely to have psychological distress than those patients with vision loss in one eye only and good visual acuity in the better eye respectively. The cause of visual loss, pattern of visual loss, duration of visual loss and sociodemographic variables did not influence the likelihood of having psychological distress.
CONCLUSION: Prevalence of psychological distress was significantly higher in patients with visual loss compared to patients with normal vision. There is a need for integration of psychosocial care into the current medical and surgical treatment of patients with vision loss.