Quality of Life in Adults with Childhood Glaucoma: An Interview Study

Lachlan S.W. Knight, Bronwyn Ridge, Sandra E. Staffieri, Jamie E. Craig, Mallika Prem Senthil, Emmanuelle Souzeau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose: To explore and report on the quality-of-life (QoL) issues encountered by adults with childhood glaucoma. Design: Exploratory qualitative study. Participants: Forty-seven participants with childhood glaucoma (defined as disease onset <18 years) recruited from the Australian and New Zealand Registry of Advanced Glaucoma (ANZRAG). Methods: A qualitative research methodology (interpretive phenomenology) was applied, and data were collected through semistructured in-depth interviews. NVivo-12 software (QSR International Pty Ltd) was used to inductively analyze and code data to identify QoL themes pertinent to the cohort studied. Main Outcome Measures: Quality-of-life themes and subthemes. Results: Mean participant age was 40.0 ± 15.3 years, and 55% of participants were female. We identified 10 QoL themes pertinent to adults living with childhood glaucoma. Coping strategies and emotional well-being were the most prominent themes. Maladaptive coping strategies, including treatment nonadherence, were observed more commonly in individuals aged <40 years and those without a vision impairment or reviewed less regularly. Emotional well-being was affected by feelings of being misunderstood because of the rarity of the condition, being self-conscious of physical manifestations of the disease, and anxiety related to possible disease progression and vision loss. The effect of childhood glaucoma on family planning formed a novel QoL theme and included worry for their child to inherit the condition and an inability to fulfill parental duties. This often led to genetic counseling–seeking behaviors. Mobility issues were infrequently experienced. Conclusions: Childhood glaucoma poses a substantial impact to the emotional well-being of adults with the condition, which is mediated by the use of coping strategies. Genetic counseling and family planning options may be important. This study supports the development of a childhood glaucoma–specific patient-reported outcome measure for assessment of the psychosocial impact of childhood glaucoma in adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-336
Number of pages12
JournalOphthalmology Glaucoma
Issue number3
Early online date23 Sep 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Sep 2021


  • Childhood glaucoma
  • Glaucoma
  • Interviews
  • Qualitative
  • Quality of life


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