Content » Vol 51, Issue 7

Original report

Vision-related symptoms after acquired brain injury and the association with mental fatigue, anxiety and depression

Märta Berthold Lindstedt, Jan Johansson, Jan Ygge, Kristian Borg
Dep. of Rehabilitation medicin, Dep of Clinical Sciences, Danderyd Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, SE-182 88 Stockholm, Sweden. E-mail: martalinds2@gmail.com
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2570

Abstract

Background: Brain injury causes multiple symptoms. Among these, visual disturbances are common; 50–70% of patients experience some change in vision after injury/illness. Other very common and disabling symptoms are fatigue, anxiety and depression. This study examines whether levels of fatigue, anxiety and depression are increased if the patients also experience vision disorders.
Materials and Methods: A total of 123 patients enrolled in day care rehabilitation unit for medium-to-severe brain injury completed questionnaires about self-experienced fatigue, anxiety, depression and self-experienced level and type of visual disturbances. Symptoms of fatigue, anxiety and depression were compared with the occurrence of visual disturbances. Analyses were performed using binary logistic regression.
Results: An association was found between visual symptoms and fatigue, but not between visual symptoms and anxiety/depression. However, some visual symptoms, such as glare, blurred vision and reading difficulties, showed great differences between patients with or without anxiety/depression.
Conclusion: Vision rehabilitation may be a tool for mitigating fatigue after acquired brain injury.

Lay Abstract

Brain injury causes multiple symptoms. Among these, visual disturbances are common; 50–70% of patients experience some change in their vision after injury/illness. Other very common and disabling symptoms are fatigue, anxiety and depression. This study discusses whether the levels of fatigue, anxiety and depression are increased if the patients also experience vision disorders. A total of 123 patients enrolled in a day care rehabilitation unit for medium-to-severe brain injury completed questionnaires about self-experienced fatigue, anxiety, depression and self-experienced level and type of vision disturbances. Symptoms of fatigue, anxiety and depression were compared with the occurrence of visual disturbances. There was an association between visual disturbances and fatigue, but not between visual disturbances and anxiety/depression. How-ever, some visual symptoms, such as glare, blurred vision and reading difficulties, showed great differences between patients with or without anxiety/depression. In conclusion, vision rehabilitation may be a tool for mitigating fatigue after acquired brain injury.

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