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Illness perceptions in people newly diagnosed with glaucoma and ocular hypertension
  1. Leanne McDonald1,
  2. Trishal Boodhna1,
  3. Csilla Ajtony2,
  4. Paula Turnbull3,
  5. Rupert R A Bourne4,
  6. David P Crabb1
  1. 1 Optometry and Vision Science, City, University of London, London, UK
  2. 2 Glaucoma, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  3. 3 Ophthalmology, Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, UK
  4. 4 Postgraduate Medical Institute, Vision and Eye Research Unit (VERU), Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to Leanne McDonald, Optometry and Vision Science, City, University of London, London EC1V 0HB, UK; leanne.mcdonald{at}


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.

  • glaucoma
  • ocular hypertension
  • chronic illness
  • illness perceptions
  • illness representations
  • lay beliefs of health and illness
  • self-regulation
  • illness cognitions

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  • Contributors DPC, TB and CA conceived and designed the study. TB, PT, CA and RRAB were involved in the data collection. LM, PT and DPC were involved in the analysis and interpretation of the data. LM wrote the first draft of this manuscript. All other authors were involved in the revision and final approval of the article.

  • Funding TB was supported by a City, University of London PhD scholarship. LM was supported in part by unrestricted funding from Allergan.

  • Competing interests LM, TB, CA, RRAB, PT: None declared. DPC: Allergan, Santen (Recipient of Speaker fees), Roche (Financial Support), CenterVue (Consultant).

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval Ethical approval was granted by the North West – Liverpool East NHS Research and Ethics committee, England, UK: 216487.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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