Company

Cataract patients experience depression and falls

The George Institute for Global Health conducted a study of 329 patients at eight public hospitals in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).One third of the patients were found to have experienced a fall during their wait for surgery, with almost half of those falls being serious – including 15 head injuries.{{quote-A:R-W:450-I:2-Q: Cataract surgery is highly successful and can transform lives. It is therefore key that a patient has prompt access to surgery to avoid serious injuries and significant psychological distress, -WHO:Lisa Keay, Associate Professor of The George Institute}}“Cataract surgery is highly successful and can transform lives. It is therefore key that a patient has prompt access to surgery to avoid serious injuries and significant psychological distress,” Associate Professor Lisa Keay of The George Institute said.Researchers also found depressive symptoms in 28.6% of patients – three times higher than would normally be expected – with older adults having high rates of these symptoms.Ms Anna Palagyi, a Research Fellow at The George Institute explained that depression and falls are not only a burden to the individual, they can also be costly to the health syst.“Many people choose to go private to have cataract surgery, but others rely on public hospital services,” Palagyi said. “We need to ensure we provide timely and high quality surgery in our public hospitals.”Ms Palagyi and Ms Keay co-authored the study titled ‘While We Waited: Incidence and Predictors of Falls in Older Adults With Cataract’, which was published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.Palagyi also presented her findings at 48th RANZCO Conference – see page 36.The NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) is currently supporting parallel work looking at outcomes of cataract surgery. Acting chief executive Professor Donald MacLellan said ACI is continually looking at new ways to improve the care of ophthalmology patients.