To examine vision-targeted health-related quality of life and psychosocial characteristics in patients with benign essential blepharospasm (BEB) compared with patients with hemifacial spasm (HFS).
Persons with BEB (n = 159) or HFS (n = 91) were identified based on International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modifications codes with subsequent verification by record abstraction. Information regarding demographics, health characteristics, disease characteristics, and vision-targeted health-related quality of life was obtained through a telephone interview.
For patients with BEB and HFS, the composite scores and subscale scores on the 25-item National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ-25) were low. Compared with patients with HFS, patients with BEB reported more depressive symptoms (P = .03), met the criteria for generalized anxiety disorder (P = .007), had lower NEI-VFQ-25 composite scores (P<.001), and had lower NEI-VFQ-25 subscale scores regarding general vision (P = .03), ocular pain (P<.001), distance activities (P = .001), driving (P<.001), and all of the vision-specific subscales addressing psychosocial issues.
Compared with patients with HFS, those with BEB experience a greater reduction in vision-targeted health-related quality of life and are more prone to symptoms of depression and anxiety. This underscores the inadequacy of current treatment options for BEB in light of the fact that these patients had been undergoing standard-of-care treatments for some time.