Perspectives on Glaucoma

Questionnaire addresses the concerns of glaucoma patients

A prospective, observational study based on a newly formulated questionnaire specifically addressed the concerns of glaucoma patients and identified demographic and clinical factors that affected the concerns.

After extensive review of previously validated quality of life questionnaires, the authors formulated a new questionnaire specifically addressing and grading patients’ concerns. Items were organized into five domains, including vision, activities, socioeconomic factors and ocular symptoms. The severity of concerns were scored in a scale from 0 to 5. A total of 152 patients with glaucoma of various types and severity filled in the questionnaires. Age of participants ranged between 23 and 95 years, according to the study.

The two most common concerns related to vision were blurry vision (32%) and difficulty seeing in dark light (21%). Limitations in reading small print (34%) was the main concern regarding activities, followed by driving (19%). The most common socioeconomic concerns were related to medical costs (26%) and getting help from others (14%). Dryness and tearing were the top of the list for ocular symptoms but were relatively less of a concern as compared to items of the other domains. A correlation was found between severity of concern and more severe visual field loss.

It was notable that socioeconomic concerns were greater among patients of younger age, who might foresee the economic burden of a lifelong, progressive disease and fear the interruption of their career due to worsening of their condition, the researchers said. Concerns about activities were greater in patients who had undergone filtering surgery, which poses short- and long-term activity limitations.

“Our results may be useful because knowledge of patients’ concerns and associated factors may help clinicians address these concerns and personalize patients’ glaucoma management,” the authors noted. – by Michela Cimberle

Disclosure: Mogil reports no financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.

A prospective, observational study based on a newly formulated questionnaire specifically addressed the concerns of glaucoma patients and identified demographic and clinical factors that affected the concerns.

After extensive review of previously validated quality of life questionnaires, the authors formulated a new questionnaire specifically addressing and grading patients’ concerns. Items were organized into five domains, including vision, activities, socioeconomic factors and ocular symptoms. The severity of concerns were scored in a scale from 0 to 5. A total of 152 patients with glaucoma of various types and severity filled in the questionnaires. Age of participants ranged between 23 and 95 years, according to the study.

The two most common concerns related to vision were blurry vision (32%) and difficulty seeing in dark light (21%). Limitations in reading small print (34%) was the main concern regarding activities, followed by driving (19%). The most common socioeconomic concerns were related to medical costs (26%) and getting help from others (14%). Dryness and tearing were the top of the list for ocular symptoms but were relatively less of a concern as compared to items of the other domains. A correlation was found between severity of concern and more severe visual field loss.

It was notable that socioeconomic concerns were greater among patients of younger age, who might foresee the economic burden of a lifelong, progressive disease and fear the interruption of their career due to worsening of their condition, the researchers said. Concerns about activities were greater in patients who had undergone filtering surgery, which poses short- and long-term activity limitations.

“Our results may be useful because knowledge of patients’ concerns and associated factors may help clinicians address these concerns and personalize patients’ glaucoma management,” the authors noted. – by Michela Cimberle

Disclosure: Mogil reports no financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.

    Perspective
    Lisa Young, OD

    Lisa M. Young

    • As clinicians, we are consistently challenged with decision-making in the diagnosis, treatment and management of glaucoma. We find ourselves trying to identify potential progression, monitoring for visual field changes, analyzing the nerve fiber layer and trying to correlate these changes to the optic nerve appearance … all while attempting to determine target IOP and identify the best potential treatment options.

      In reality, it is possible that the biggest challenge we face is educating our patients how this progressive condition, often known as the “silent thief” of sight, will potentially impact them and their vision, especially considering that most of us do not think twice about an issue until it impacts our day-to-day life.   

      A bus driver being told that his or her peripheral vision may be affected by the disease may not resonate the same as telling them that the condition may affect their ability to see cars adjacent to them, therefore affecting their ability to drive and maintain a driver’s license.

      Personalizing potential visual changes and translating them into terms that the patient understands may have a significant and beneficial impact on patient education, compliance and long-term management.

      • Lisa M. Young, OD, FAAO
      • Chicago Glaucoma Consultants
        Glenview, Ill.
    • Disclosures: Young reports no relevant financial disclosures.