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Illness perceptions in people newly diagnosed with glaucoma and ocular hypertension

Ajtony, C., Boodhna, T., McDonald, L. , Turnbull, P., Bourne, R. R. & Crabb, D. P. ORCID: 0000-0001-8754-3902 (2019). Illness perceptions in people newly diagnosed with glaucoma and ocular hypertension. British Journal of Ophthalmology, 57(12), doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2018-313781


Background/aims: To determine whether self-reported illness perceptions in newly diagnosed patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and ocular hypertension (OHT) are more negative compared with peers who have lived with their diagnosis for more than 2 years.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of 58 newly diagnosed patients with POAG and OHT recruited at their first clinic visit. Electronic patient records were used to identify similar patients (n=58, related by age and severity of visual field loss) who had their diagnosis for >2 years. All participants completed the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (BIPQ), EQ5D general health measure and Type D Personality Scale (DS14).

Results: Average BIPQ scores were similar for people newly diagnosed with POAG and POAG diagnosed >2 years and were no different to newly diagnosed OHT and OHT diagnosed >2 years POAG (p=0.46). An analysis correcting for personality type (DS14) and general health (EQ5D) indicated newly diagnosed patients with POAG to have marginally better illness perceptions on individual BIPQ items quantifying impact on life in general, experience of symptoms and ‘understanding’ of their condition (all p<0.01). In contrast, patients with POAG with a diagnosis >2 years understood better their condition to be long-term (p<0.01).

Conclusions: Some illness perceptions differed between newly diagnosed people and patients living with their diagnosis for >2 years. Illness perception for people with manifest glaucoma and at risk of glaucoma (OHT) were similar; the latter might benefit from an intervention at diagnosis that highlights the better prognosis for OHT compared with POAG

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in British Journal of Ophthalmology following peer review, and the Version of Record can be accessed online at
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

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