Prevalence of depressive symptoms and associated factors in an urban, ophthalmic population

Eileen L. Mayro, Ann P. Murchison, Lisa A. Hark, Marlee Silverstein, Olivia Y. Wang, John P. Gilligan, Benjamin E. Leiby, Laura T. Pizzi, Robin J. Casten, Barry W. Rovner, Julia A. Haller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the prevalence of depressive symptoms in an adult ophthalmic patient population and to delineate correlates. Design: Cross-sectional study. Participants: Adult patients (⩾18 years) were approached in general and sub-specialty cornea, retina, and glaucoma ophthalmic clinics. A total of 367 patients from the four clinics were enrolled. Methods: Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9. A cut-off score of ⩾10 was used to indicate clinically significant depressive symptoms. Patient Health Questionnaire-9 scores were used to evaluate bivariate relationships between depressive symptoms and distance visual acuity, ocular diagnosis, diabetes status, smoking status, demographic information, and medications. Results: The majority of patients were female (52.9%) and Caucasian (48.6%). The mean age was 52.0 years (standard deviation: 16.7). Clinically significant depressive symptoms were present in 19.9% of patients overall; this rate varied slightly by clinic. Patients with low vision and blindness (visual acuity worse than 20/60) were more likely to have depressive symptoms (odds ratio = 2.82; 95% confidence interval: 1.90–4.21). Smoking and diabetes were also associated with depressive symptoms (odds ratio = 3.11 (2.66–3.64) and 3.42 (1.90–6.16), respectively). Conclusion: In a sample of urban ophthalmic adult patients, depressive symptoms were highly associated with low vision, smoking, and diabetes. This information can be used to target interventions to those at greatest risk of depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)740-747
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


  • Low vision
  • blindness
  • depressive symptoms
  • diabetes
  • smoking
  • visual acuity


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