21 May 2018
Source: Thomas Pocklington Trust
Dr Ian Petch, South West London and St George’s NHS Mental Health Trust
People with vision impairment have an increased risk of depression, new research suggests. Research commissioned by Thomas Pocklington Trust and undertaken by South West London and St George’s NHS Mental Health Trust and South West London Academic, Health and Social Care System found more training for support staff is needed to ensure signs of depression are recognised and treatment is accessed.
- There is a clear association between visual impairment and increased risk of depression.
- National data available from the Health and Social Care Information Centre suggests that Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme services are recruiting very small numbers of people with visual impairment for the treatment of common mental health problems.
- Where people with visual impairment have accessed IAPT services, on average, they are equally likely to remain in treatment, equally likely to engage in routine measurement of progress and appear to present with similar levels of severity of depression and anxiety as those without visual impairment.
- Brief training for support staff can promote confidence in identifying depression among people with sight loss and in supporting them into accessing treatment