Background: Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. Blindness secondary to
glaucoma is irreversible, and thus people experience lifelong blindness once they develop blindness from
glaucoma. Currently, there is lack of literature regarding psychological experiences of patients living with
blindness secondary to glaucoma in Africa.
Objective: To explore psychological experiences of adult patients with blindness secondary to glaucoma.
Method: A hospital based qualitative study at a tertiary government eye hospital was done among adult
patients who presented with blindness secondary to glaucoma. Selection of participants was done by
purposive sampling and individual in-depth interviews were used to collect data among study participants
until data saturation. Data was analyzed using content analysis.
Results: Eight adult patients (7 men and 1 woman) with blindness secondary to glaucoma were interviewed.
Patients with glaucoma experienced psychological distress and depression due to unemployment, lack
of basic needs and worries related to unaccomplished family obligations. The patients felt restricted in
performing activities of daily living which consequently overburden their caregivers.
Conclusion: This study has shown that adult patients who are blind from glaucoma experience challenging
mental health problems. There is a need for integration of psychosocial care into the management of patients
with blindness secondary to glaucoma.
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