• Oculoplastics/Orbit

    Review of: Psychological aspects of living with an artificial eye

    McCullagh D, Puls N, Beaconsfield M, et al. Orbit, in press

    Using responses from a patient survey, investigators evaluated whether the psychological effects of having an artificial eye, as well as patient coping strategies, are connected to depression and anxiety.

    Study design

    Consecutive patients who underwent enucleation or evisceration at two UK artificial eye clinics were asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding anxiety, depression, perception of illness, and ability to cope. Statistical analyses were used to assess the impact of the artificial eye on these variables.

    Outcomes

    Of the 208 respondents, 29.5% reported significant anxiety and 8.4% reported significant depression. The presence of anxiety was correlated with perceptions of the impact of the artificial eye and self-blame as a coping strategy. Depression severity correlated with the artificial eye having a greater impact on patients’ lives, with living alone, and with substance use as a coping strategy.

    Limitations

    Limitations relate to the nature of the methodology: not all patients completed the study, and patients who experienced problems may have been more likely to complete the questionnaire. The impact of psychological interventions was not specifically assessed.

    Clinical significance

    Results from this study have the potential to affect our understanding of the impact of eye removal on patient well-being. Clinicians should ask patients about their psychological health and consider appropriate referrals. Additionally, surgeons should be aware of the possibility of substance use and abuse as a coping strategy and seek to delineate healthier coping approaches.