Purpose: To review the current literature on the psychological impact of anti-VEGF treatments for wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD), in terms of patients’ experiences of receiving these treatments, and the impact of these treatments for patients’ mental health and quality of life. Methods: We critically analyzed current literature evaluating psychological impact of anti-VEGF treatments for wAMD. Primary searches of PubMed, Science Direct, and Web of Science were conducted in July and August of 2015. We reviewed all papers on the topic published until August 5, 2015. Results: Our literature search found 14 papers addressing the psychological impact of anti-VEGF treatments for wAMD. Results highlighted potential anxieties and experiences of pain caused by receiving regular intravitreal injections. A positive visual outcome of anti-VEGF therapy is associated with positive vision-related QOL outcomes, although such association seems to be dependent on improvements on visual acuity. In the literature reviewed, patients receiving anti-VEGF treatments showed a prevalence rate of depression between 20 and 26 %. Conclusions: Although anti-VEGF treatments can cause some anxiety and being experienced as a stressful event, especially in the beginning of the treatment, preliminary findings suggest a potential benefit for long-term vision-related quality of life. Further longitudinal and qualitative research should bring more evidence on the positive and negative effects of these treatments on patients’ long-term mental health.
- Anti-VEGF treatment
- Intra-vitreal injections
- Psychological impact
- Wet age-related macular degeneration