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Diabetic Macular Edema

Anti-VEGF treatment effect patients’ social and emotional well-being

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There may be a substantial social and psychological impact associated with anti-VEGF treatment amongst patients suffering from retinal diseases, including neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD), diabetic macular edema (DME), and branch/central retinal vein occlusion (B/CRVO), according to a study.

Despite the physical challenges such as difficulties walking and the need for accompanying persons during treatment, the study found that patients generally experienced higher distress related to having a retinal disease than the distress associated with the treatment itself.

The study included 1478 patients with nAMD, 445 patients with DME, 233 patients with BRVO patients, and 144 patients with CRVO patients.

A quarter of patients faced difficulties walking, and 1 in 5 required an accompanying person for treatment, underscoring the physical challenges associated with these retinal diseases. At the onset of treatment, 3 out of 4 patients experienced anxiety about losing vision, a concern that slightly decreased to 2 out of 3 patients over the 12-month treatment period.

The distress related to having a retinal disease was generally higher than the distress associated with the treatment itself. However, most patients reported high treatment satisfaction (73%) and felt well-informed (81%).

Reference
Wolfram C, Pfeiffer N, Hudde T, et al. The Psychological, Social and Behavioral Impact of Intravitreal Anti-VEGF Therapy: An Analysis from the ALBATROS Data. J Clin Med. 2023;12(23):7435. doi: 10.3390/jcm12237435. PMID: 38068487; PMCID: PMC10707522.

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