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Ripple Effect of Vision Loss

Important study on the role of carers

An article outlining the Foundation’s ‘Ripple Effect of Vision Loss’ research has been published in peer reviewed journal, ‘Aging and Mental Health’. This research revealed that the burden of wet (neovascular) age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) weighs heavily not only on people living with the disease, but also on those who care for them. 

The article, ‘Predictors of psychological distress in caregivers of older persons with wet age-related macular degeneration‘, outlines the research conducted by Macular Disease Foundation Australia in 2013 including methodology, analysis and results revealing the extent of psychological stresses placed on carers of those with wet macular degeneration.

Julie Heraghty, CEO of the Macular Disease Foundation Australia says, “We are proud and excited by the publication of this research. It was a significant and worthwhile project enabling the Foundation to further explore the role of the carer of someone with macular degeneration.

“From this study we were able to highlight the unexpected burden of wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and understand the impact on both the person living with the disease and the person who cares for them. A highly successful media campaign directed people to support for depression, carer support entitlements and the need to ensure ‘care for the carer’.”

To have this research published in ‘Aging and Mental Health’ reinforces the importance of this study and will assist both the Foundation and the wider global community in understanding the ripple effect of vision loss which ultimately means better outcomes for all involved. 

The Foundation thanks Associate Professor Bamini Gopinath, Annette Kifley and Professor Paul Mitchell at the Westmead Millennium Institute for supporting the detailed analysis of the data and the writing of the paper.

The original research was funded by an unrestricted grant from Bayer.

The paper’s citation is Gopinath B, Kifley A, Cummins R, Heraghty J, Mitchell P, Aging Ment Health. 2015;19(3):239-46. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2014.924477. Epub 2014 Jun 19.

Posted: 1 July 2014