Aims: To assess the relationship between depression and the vision-related quality of life in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP).
Methods: The study included 144 patients diagnosed with RP. The mean age of the patients was 38.5 ± 13.3 years and 42% of the subjects were women. They answered the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ) to assess the vision-related quality of life and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) to assess depressive symptoms. Patients were classified into groups with and without depression according to the BDI score. The NEI-VFQ composite and subscale scores were compared between groups. The correlations between the BDI and the NEI-VFQ, weighted visual acuity (WVA) and functional vision score (FVS) were investigated.
Results: The depressed group had significantly less subjective visual function compared to the non-depressed group. A negative correlation was observed between the BDI and the NEI-VFQ scores, while no correlation was found between the BDI score and WVA or FVS.
Conclusion: The RP patients with depression had poorer vision-related functions compared to those patients without depression, which cannot be explained by the visual acuity. Interventions to diagnose and treat depression are necessary to enhance the overall quality of life in RP patients.