Frequency and Correlates of Distant Visual Impairment in Patients with Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and Major Depressive Disorder

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East Asian Arch Psychiatry


OBJECTIVE: Distant visual impairment in the severely mentally ill is under-researched. This study aimed to assess the frequency and correlates of distant visual impairment in a cohort of Chinese psychiatric patients, including its effect on their quality of life. METHODS: Adult psychiatric inpatients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder consecutively admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Beijing, China underwent assessments of psychopathology (Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, 16-item Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology [Self-Report]), quality of life (12-item Short-Form Medical Outcomes Study [SF-12], 25-item National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire [NEI-VFQ25]), adverse effects (Udvalg for Kliniske Undersogelser Side Effect Rating Scale), and presenting (as opposed to uncorrected) distant visual acuity (Logarithm of the Minimum Angle of Resolution [LogMAR] chart with patients wearing spectacles, if they owned them). Distant visual impairment was defined as binocular distant visual acuity of a LogMAR score of >/= 0.5 (< 6/18 Snellen acuity). RESULTS: Among 356 patients who met the study criteria, the frequency of distant visual impairment was 12.6% (15.2% with schizophrenia, 11.9% with bipolar disorder, 8.8% with major depressive disorder). In multiple logistic regression analysis, distant visual impairment was significantly associated with ocular disease only (p = 0.002, odds ratio = 3.2, 95% confidence interval = 1.5-6.7). Controlling for the confounding effect of ocular disease, patients with distant visual impairment had a lower quality of life in the general vision domain of the NEI-VFQ25 (F[2, 353] = 9.5, p = 0.002) compared with those without. No differences in the physical and mental domains of the SF-12 and in other domains of the NEI-VFQ25 were noted in these 2 groups. CONCLUSION: One-eighth of middle-aged severely mentally ill patients had distant visual impairment. Considering the impact of distant visual impairment on daily functioning, severely mentally ill patients need to be screened for impaired eyesight as part of their comprehensive health assessment.

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School of Medicine

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Molecular Medicine