Aim: To determine the quality of life of primary open angle glaucoma patients in the Eye Clinic of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Edo state, Nigeria.
Methods: This was a prospective study which was carried out among glaucoma patients in the Eye Clinic of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital. All glaucoma patients presenting for the first time in the hospital eye clinic over a one year period were enrolled in the study. Data was obtained using an interviewer administered questionnaire encompassing quality of life questions derived from the GQL15 and VFQ 25 instruments. Data analysis was done using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.
Results: Two thousand and twenty three (2,023) new patients were seen in the eye clinic within the study period and One hundred and sixty eight of the patients in this study had Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG). The quality of life scores in glaucoma patients was 53.58(±19.3) as opposed to 88.8 (±3.7) in controls using the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI VFQ) and 50.51(±21.77) in glaucoma patients and 96.8 (±2.8) in controls with the Glaucoma Quality of Life GQL questionnaire. This is statistically significant in both analysis, though the GQL is more specific for glaucoma. The subscales for mental health, peripheral vision, general vision and role limitation were lowest in this study probably because over 60% of the patients have severe/advanced glaucoma
Conclusion: Quality of life was significantly lower in glaucoma patients than in age and sex matched controls. Glaucoma is a cause of significant morbidity affecting all aspects of the life of its sufferers and this has to be addressed urgently.