In the Journals

Anti-VEGF injections may cause anxiety, depression in patients

In an observational study, 56% of patients undergoing anti-VEGF injections reported experiencing anxiety related to the intravitreal treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration.

Three hundred patients with wet AMD receiving anti-VEGF treatment at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, U.K., were included in the cross-sectional, mixed-methods study. A survey was administered to evaluate patient experience related to undergoing anti-VEGF treatment.

Of the 56% of patients who experienced anxiety leading up to the treatment, the most common fear was going blind because of the injection or the needle causing damage. More than 39% of patients experienced anxiety related to those fears.

The next most common fear, experienced by 37% of patients, was the treatment not working properly or the disease becoming worse due to the treatment not working. However, only 3.3% of patients reported anxiety due to the fear that the injections would cause pain.

“[Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale] scores were significantly higher in patients who had received up to three injections, in comparison with patients who had received from four to 12 injections (ANOVA P = .027) and in comparison with patients who had received more than 12 injections,” the researchers wrote. – by Robert Linnehan

Disclosure: Senra reported receiving an educational grant from Bayer. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.

In an observational study, 56% of patients undergoing anti-VEGF injections reported experiencing anxiety related to the intravitreal treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration.

Three hundred patients with wet AMD receiving anti-VEGF treatment at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, U.K., were included in the cross-sectional, mixed-methods study. A survey was administered to evaluate patient experience related to undergoing anti-VEGF treatment.

Of the 56% of patients who experienced anxiety leading up to the treatment, the most common fear was going blind because of the injection or the needle causing damage. More than 39% of patients experienced anxiety related to those fears.

The next most common fear, experienced by 37% of patients, was the treatment not working properly or the disease becoming worse due to the treatment not working. However, only 3.3% of patients reported anxiety due to the fear that the injections would cause pain.

“[Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale] scores were significantly higher in patients who had received up to three injections, in comparison with patients who had received from four to 12 injections (ANOVA P = .027) and in comparison with patients who had received more than 12 injections,” the researchers wrote. – by Robert Linnehan

Disclosure: Senra reported receiving an educational grant from Bayer. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.