Ophthalmologists report higher rates of depression amid pandemic, study finds

A study out of India found a higher rate of depression in ophthalmologists than the general population, possibly due to fears surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Mirage News reports.

The study was conducted by the L V Prasad Eye Institute, the All India Ophthalmological Society and the George Institute for Global Health, India. The groups analyzed the potential psychological effect COVID-19 has had on practicing ophthalmologists in the country.

Researchers surveyed 2,355 ophthalmologists and ophthalmology residents, gathering their thoughts on how COVID-19 has affected their well-being.

About 765, or 32.6 percent, said they had some form of depression — above the 10 percent of the general population in India reporting common mental disorders. About 504 said their depression was mild, 163 said their depression was moderate and 101 said their depression was severe.

Seventy-five ophthalmologists had suicidal thoughts.

Researchers believe the high level of depression "could be due to a generalized prevailing climate of uncertainty among ophthalmologists" around COVID-19.

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