Perspectives of people with late age-related macular degeneration on mental health and mental wellbeing programmes: a qualitative study

Dillon, Lisa, Gandhi, Sarthak, Tang, Diana, Liew, Gerald, Hackett, Maree orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1211-9087, Craig, Ashley, Mitchell, Paul, Keay, Lisa and Gopinath, Bamini (2021) Perspectives of people with late age-related macular degeneration on mental health and mental wellbeing programmes: a qualitative study. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 41 (2). pp. 255-265. ISSN 0275-5408

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People with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) experience high rates of depression, but rarely engage in or have access to tailored mental wellbeing programmes. This qualitative study investigated the perspectives of those primarily with late AMD on mental health and mental wellbeing programmes. Twenty-eight people with late AMD in at least one eye, and one person with early AMD in both eyes, aged 56-87 years (mean age 78 years) attending a private eye clinic between December 2019 and January 2020 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, participated. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed deductively using content analysis, following the individual level factors for health promotion interventions in the behaviour change wheel: Capability (Physical & Psychological), Opportunity (Physical & Social), and Motivation (Reflective & Automatic). Six major themes were identified: Capability: (1) Impact of vision loss on mobility and leisure pursuits; (2) Adjustment to living with vision loss; Opportunity: (3) Program considerations for those with AMD; (4) Stigma and self-perception of vision loss and mental health; Motivation: (5) Accumulation of vision-related issues as a barrier to participation; (6) Examples of others living with vision loss. General personal factors relevant to delivery of a programme in this age group were also identified: Comorbidities; Limitations using technology; Isolation; Financial concerns and Beliefs that undesired effects of aging are inevitable. Complex individual, environmental and social factors influence the perspectives of people with late AMD on mental health, and potential participation in mental wellbeing programmes. These factors should be considered when developing and implementing mental wellbeing programmes to improve the emotional and functional rehabilitation outcomes for people with AMD. [Abstract copyright: © 2020 The Authors Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics © 2020 The College of Optometrists.]

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