COECSA, Journal, Ophthalmology
Psychological experiences of adult patients with blindness secondary to glaucoma at Lions Sight First Eye Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi


Psychological experiences
Mental health

How to Cite

FS, C., Petros, K., CS, M., Tl, Z. ., & C, M.-. M. (2020). Psychological experiences of adult patients with blindness secondary to glaucoma at Lions Sight First Eye Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. The Journal of Ophthalmology of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, 23(1). Retrieved from


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.



Kalua K, Lindfield R, Mtupanyama M, Mtumodzi

D, Msiska V. Findings from a Rapid Assessment

of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) in Southern

Malawi. PLoS One. 2011; 6(4):

Bowman RJC, Kirupananthan S. How to manage

a patient with glaucoma in Africa. Comm Eye

Health J. 2006; 19(59):38-39.

Kayange PC, Nkume HB, Feyi-Waboso A,

Kalua K , Msukwa G , Schulze Schwering M.

Presentation of Primary Open Angle Glaucoma

(POAG) at Lions Sight First Eye hospital in

Blantyre, Malawi. Malawi Med J. 2014; 26 (3):


Wu, Pei-Xia et al. Patients’ experience of living with

glaucoma: a phenomenological study. J Advanced

Nursing. 2010; 67(4): 800-810.

Kong, Xiangmei , et al. Anxiety and depression

are more prevalent in primary angle closure

glaucoma than in primary open-angle glaucoma.

J Glaucoma. 2015; 24(5): e57-e63.

Bruce R, Rosenthal OD. Low vision and



aspx [15/9/2014].

World Health Organization (2003) http://www.


Uzima F, Hamirani MM, Jafri AR, Riaz SU,

Shaikh A. Assessment of anxiety and depression

in primary open angle glaucoma patients. Pak J

Ophthalmol. 2010; 26(3):

Dawodu OA, Otakpor AN, Ukponmwan CU.

Common psychiatric disorders in glaucoma

patients as seen at the University of Benin Teaching

Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria. J Med Biomed Res.

; 3(1):

Bruce R, Rosenthal OD. How is the quality of

life of glaucoma patients affected in the various

disease stages? 2014. www.glaucoma.answers


Glen FC, Crabb DP. Living with glaucoma: A

qualitative study of functional implications and

patients’ coping behaviours. BMC Ophthalmology.

; 15(1):

Coleman AL, Kodjebacheva G, Wallace SP, Prelip

M, Ortega AN, et al. Visual function of individuals

and communities: a conceptual framework. 2008;


Download data is not yet available.