A study performed to assess emotional distress, quality of life and health locus of control in patients with Age Related Macular Degeneration

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Scanlon, Grainne
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BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The purpose of the study was to identify content areas characterizing emotional distress faced by persons with Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). It is hypothesized that AMD patients will have higher scores on the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) (Goldberg, 1972) and that shorter duration of condition, worse visual acuity (VA) and having only one eye affected will explain a lot of the variability in the GHQ. The current research also hypothesizes that AMD patients will have lower scores on Quality of Life (QoL) and that more information will be provided on visual impairment by using a QoL measure such as Daily Living Tasks Dependent on Vision (DL TV) (Hart, Chakravarthy, Stevenson & Jamison, 1999), than by just measuring visual acuity. Finally, it is predicted that there will be a significant relationship between people with Chance Health Locus of Control (Walleston, Walleston, Kaplan & Maides, 1978) and AMD. The sample was taken from an Optical practice and consisted of 15 visually impaired older adults previously diagnosed with AMD and a reference group of 15 visually unimpaired older adults. The study was a clinical study using the form survey. The variables were emotional distress, QoL, HLC, VA, duration of condition and number of eyes affected. Analysis was conducted using independent sample t tests and examining correlations using standard multiple regression. Results found that there was a significant relationship between emotional distress and GHQ (r=0.33 P<0.05 ) however VA, duration of condition and number of eyes affected only accounted for 5% of the variance in the GHQ. People with AMD were found to have significantly lower QoL scores (r=0.738 P<0.05). Finally, a significant relationship between CHLC and AMD was also found (r=0.376, P<0.05).