Patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema (DME) found problem solving helped them best cope with their condition, according to a recent study published in Optometry and Vision Science.

The study included 57 participants with DR/DME who had Type 2 diabetes. Nearly 50% had proliferative DR, 95% had undergone laser treatment and 42% had DME. Of the participants, 68% had none, 14% had mild and 14% had moderate-severe vision impairment in the better eye.

Researchers found that coping efforts were mostly problem focused (64%) with seven sub-themes: problem solving, passive coping, changing activities to suit a new ability level, active coping, rehearsing alternative outcomes, maintaining independence and information seeking.

“Some strategies are likely to improve functioning and decrease distress, whereas others are expected to reduce immediate distress while perpetuating this in the longer term,” the authors noted in the study. “Our findings may assist researchers to develop models of adjustment to DR/DME-related vision loss and psychosocial/educational interventions focused on adaptation.”

Sturrock BA, Rees G, Lamoureux EL, et al. Individuals’ perspective on coping with vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. Optom Vis Sci. 2018;95(4):362-72.