Focus groups with persons who have age-related macular degeneration: Emotional issues

Academic Article


  • Objective: To identify content areas characterizing emotional issues faced by persons with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Design and Participants: Six focus groups (N = 53) were conducted with persons having AMD, with discussion addressing feelings about vision. Discussion was audiotaped, transcribed, and subjected to content analysis. Results: Twice as many comments conveyed negative as compared with positive affect. Negative comments communicated feelings of frustration, fear, sadness, and inadequacy. Positive comments addressed gratitude and hope. Positive and negative comments were just as likely regardless of disease severity. The tendency to make positive versus negative comments was related to participants' mental health score on the 25-item National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25) but unrelated to other psychosocially oriented subscales of the NEI VFQ-25 and the presence of probable depression as defined by the 10-item Center for Epidemiological Studies - Depression Scale. Conclusions: When persons with AMD are given the opportunity to frame the emotional accompaniments of vision impairment from their own perspectives, predominantly negative issues were expressed, yet positive emotions were also mentioned. This information can be used for psychoeducational interventions for this population and the selection of emotional outcome measures when evaluating interventions. Copyright 2006 by the American Psychological Association.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Owsley C; McGwin G; Scilley K; Dreer LE; Bray CR; Mason JO
  • Start Page

  • 23
  • End Page

  • 29
  • Volume

  • 51
  • Issue

  • 1