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Depression is common among older populations with cataract. However, the impact of cataract surgery on depression in both developed and developing countries remains unclear. The aim of this study is to determine the impact of cataract surgery on depressive symptoms and to examine the association between objective visual measures and change in depressive symptoms after surgery among a Vietnamese population in Ho Chi Minh City.
A cohort of older patients with bilateral cataract were assessed the week before and one to three months after first eye surgery only or first- and second-eye cataract surgeries. Visual measures including visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and stereopsis were obtained. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the 20-item Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D). Descriptive analyses and a generalized estimating equations (GEE) analysis were undertaken to determine the impact of cataract surgery on depressive symptoms.
Four hundred and thirteen participants were recruited into the study before cataract surgery. Two hundred and forty-seven completed the follow-up assessment after surgery. There was a significant decrease (improvement) of one point in the depressive symptoms score (p = 0.04) after cataract surgery, after accounting for potential confounding factors. In addition, females reported a significantly greater decrease (improvement) of two points in depressive symptom scores (p = 0.01), compared to males. However, contrast sensitivity, visual acuity, and stereopsis were not significantly associated with change in depressive symptoms scores. First-eye cataract surgery or both-eye cataract surgery did not modify the change in depressive symptoms score.
There was a small but significant improvement in depressive symptoms score after cataract surgery for an older population in Vietnam.
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