October 30, 2020 Conference


The Psychological Impact of Ocular Trauma: Observations and Considerations for Care

Dr. Ethan Lester, Massachusetts General Hospital (Presenter)
Dr. Michelle Jacobo, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Dr. Ana-Maria Vranceanu, Massachusetts General Hospital
Ocular Traumas (OT) are prevalent and produce drastic effects for both patients and informal caregivers (family and friends providing support) resulting in high levels of functional impairment, increased risk for long-term medical complications, emotional distress, and reduced quality of life (QoL). Ophthalmic clinical researchers interested in visual outcomes rely heavily on patient engagement in their medical care, however survivors of OT and informal caregivers receive very little if any emotional-behavioral support after a traumatic eye injury to aid this engagement. Therefore, to promote optimal recovery outcomes in patients with OT, psychosocial and behavioral factors need similar priority to biomedical care after an OT to produce desired outcomes. Despite an identified need for addressing chronic emotional distress in patients and their informal caregivers (together called dyads), there are no established interventions to date which attempt to address these difficulties in OT dyads early in the course of recovery. Based on our previous dyadic clinical research in acute neurological injuries (Vranceanu et al., in press)1, as well as my embedded clinical psychology clinic at Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary Ocular Trauma Service, our team, the Integrated Brain Health Clinical and Research Program, has commenced a program of clinical work within OT to address relevant clinical issues, including trauma-specific physical (e.g., pain, functional impairment), emotional (e.g., anticipatory worry, hypervigilance, boredom), and behavioral (e.g., medication adherence, follow up rates) sequelae post-OT and have gathered relevant clinical observations to inform future clinical research. In this presentation, I will discuss the psychological impact of ocular trauma as well as the current gaps in clinical research within this population. I will explore relevant considerations for care based on my own clinical observations within OT and consultations with the OT treatment team. Last, I will discuss future directions of adapting evidence-based, brief psychosocial treatment aimed at preventing chronic emotional distress and fostering resilience in dyads of OT.
Presentation Video