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Carla N. Urata, Livia S. Mazzoli, Niro Kasahara; A Comparative Analysis of the Fear of Falling Between Glaucoma and Age-Related Macular Degeneration Patients From a Developing Country. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2018;7(5):17. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.7.5.17.
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Falls are very prevalent in the older population. Visually impaired elderly patients are prone to falls as the result of visual loss and ageing. The purpose of the study was to compare the fear of falling (FoF) between primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) and age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) patients who live in a developing country.
This was a cross-sectional observational study. After a complete eye examination including measurement of best-corrected visual acuity, ophthalmoscopy, and automated visual field, all subjects completed the Fall Efficacy Scale International Brazil (FES-I-Brazil) questionnaire.
The sample comprised 64 patients with POAG, 48 with ARMD, and 52 controls. All groups were matched for age, sex, comorbidity, and ethnic distribution. The FES-I score was 24.6 ± 8.7, 25.3 ± 6.3, and 24.2 ± 7.7 for glaucoma, ARMD, and controls, respectively (P = 0.894). A post hoc analysis comparing all subjects with advanced visual field defect (mean deviation [MD] < −12 dB) revealed a higher FES-I score in ARMD patients as compared to POAG ones (46.2 ± 16.8 and 24.0 ± 7.7 for ARMD and POAG, respectively, P < 0.001).
In this cohort of elderly subjects with eye diseases, the FoF was similar among groups; however, ARMD patients with more compromised visual field had higher FoF as compared to POAG patients and controls.
A high rate of fear of falling exists in ARMD patients with compromised visual field. This finding may be useful in developing multidimensional strategies to decrease fear of falling and improve quality of life in older persons living in a developing country.
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