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Anxiety and depression in patients with advanced macular degeneration: current perspectives

Authors Cimarolli V, Casten R, Rovner B, Heyl V, Sörensen S, Horowitz A

Received 19 September 2015

Accepted for publication 6 November 2015

Published 30 December 2015 Volume 2016:10 Pages 55—63

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S80489

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Gokcen Gökçe

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Verena R Cimarolli,1 Robin J Casten,2 Barry W Rovner,3–5 Vera Heyl,6 Silvia Sörensen,7,8 Amy Horowitz9

1Research Institute on Aging, Jewish Home Lifecare, New York, NY, USA; 2Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 3Department of Neurology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 4Department of Psychiatry, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 5Department of Ophthalmology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 6Institute of Special Education, University of Education, Heidelberg, Germany; 7Warner School of Education and Human Development, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA; 8Department of Ophthalmology, Flaum Eye Institute, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY, USA; 9Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University, New York, NY, USA


Abstract: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – despite advances in prevention and medical treatment options – remains prevalent among older adults, often resulting in functional losses that negatively affect the mental health of older adults. In particular, the prevalence of both anxiety and depression in patients with AMD is high. Along with medical treatment options, low vision rehabilitation and AMD-specific behavioral and self-management programs have been developed and have demonstrated effectiveness in improving the mental health of AMD patients. This article reviews the prevalence of anxiety and depression in patients with advanced AMD, discusses potential mechanisms accounting for the development of depression and anxiety in AMD patients, presents the state-of the-art of available interventions for addressing anxiety and depression in AMD patients, and delineates recommendations for eye care professionals regarding how to screen for these two prevalent mental health problems and how to facilitate appropriate treatment for patients with AMD.

Keywords: age-related macular degeneration, vision impairment, depression, anxiety, vision rehabilitation, behavioral and self-management interventions

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