Upon attempting to quantify the burden and quality of life for patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) and their caregivers, a team of Australian researchers discovered that managing the condition carriers a substantial burden on both groups. They note that these results provide important information in understanding the effect of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy on patients.

The study evaluated 103 patients undergoing anti-VEGF therapy for nAMD. The participants completed questionnaires relating to the financial and time burdens of the condition to help the researchers better understand their experiences.

The team found that loss in productivity due to exam visits was 4.4±1.7 hours per month, with additional time lost by caregivers. They note that financial strain was incurred by direct medical costs associated with intravitreal assessments and injections at an average of AU$199.2±$83.1 per month, while indirect costs incurred averaged AU$64.8±$79.7 per month. They add that qualitative indirect costs due to loss of productivity for the patient and unpaid caregivers and loss of productivity due to premature mortality were also considerable burdens. Overall mean visual function questionnaire quality of life scores were correlated with visual acuity and demonstrated patients’ subjective decline in quality of vision.

Spooner KL, Mhlanga CT, Hong TH, et al. The burden of neovascular age-related macular degeneration: a patient’s perspective. Clin Ophthalmol. 2018;12:2483-91.