Purpose: To investigate and report on the quality-of-life (QoL) issues experienced by caregivers of individuals with childhood glaucoma. Design: Exploratory, qualitative study. Participants: Thirty-five caregivers of individuals with childhood glaucoma (defined as disease onset before 18 years of age) recruited from the Australian and New Zealand Registry of Advanced Glaucoma. Methods: A qualitative research methodology (interpretive phenomenology) was applied. Data were collected through semistructured in-depth interviews. NVivo-12 software (QSR International Pty Ltd) was used to analyze, code, and organize data into QoL themes inductively. Main Outcome Measures: Quality-of-life themes and their subthemes. Results: The mean caregiver age was 50.2 ± 13.6 years, and 27 of 35 caregivers (77%) were mothers of an individual with childhood glaucoma. A total of 6 QoL themes were identified. Coping strategies and emotional well-being were the most prominent themes. Caregivers frequently adopted problem-focused adaptive coping strategies including partner or peer support, and normalization. A caregiver's psychosocial well-being was often impacted by feelings of guilt and regret regarding their child's delayed diagnosis, fear and anxiety related to medical and social support, and loss of control as their child developed medical autonomy. The effect of family planning from the perspective of the caregiver formed a novel QoL theme and was associated with normalization and parental confidence in management of the condition. Conclusions: Childhood glaucoma poses a substantial threat to a caregiver's psychosocial well-being. Strategies that promote normalization, peer support, psychotherapeutic intervention, and genetic counseling may be indicated and, indeed, critical to the caregiver as they adapt to supporting their child with glaucoma.
- Childhood glaucoma
- Quality of life