A survey of adult participants seen in an urban eye hospital revealed that one-in-five study participants had clinically significant depressive symptoms. The research is being presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) this week in Baltimore, Md.
Depression was found to be strongly associated with three risk factors: low vision, smoking and diabetes.
According to the researchers, few ophthalmologists currently discuss depression with patients and may be unaware of the impact that depression can have on patients' eye health, including not taking their medication and reduced activity level. The researchers recommended that eye care patients with the associated risk factors be routinely screened for depression by taking the five-minute, PHQ-9 survey used in the study.