Patients teaching GPs about Charles Bonnet Syndrome

Survey finds 20% of GPs are learning more about CBS from their patients

17 Feb 2015 by Ryan O'Hare

An estimated 20% of GPs are learning more about Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS) from their patients, a recent survey has found. 
With around 600,000 people in the UK affected by macular degeneration, which can result in visual hallucinations for 50% of sufferers, it is the leading cause of sight loss. 
The survey, carried out by the Macular Society in partnership with GP magazine online, revealed that just 58% of the 194 respondents were aware of macular degeneration’s link to visual hallucinations, which is also known as CBS. Furthermore, 71% reported they have never talked about CBS with a patient.
Dr Waqaar Shah, clinical champion for the Royal College of General Practitioners and the UK Vision Strategy Eye Health Clinical Priority Project, said: “Macular degeneration is very common in older patients, and sadly, in many cases, there is no cure. However, it is important that GPs take the time to have a conversation with their patients about the impact of the eye condition on their everyday lives and that they may experience evening or night-time visual hallucinations.” 
He added: “Patients will rarely volunteer this symptom for fear of being judged as having a mental health condition so it is important GPs raise awareness amongst patients so that they can receive appropriate support.”
Results from the survey reported that, just by taking part, 69% of GP respondents felt they had increased their confidence in diagnosing CBS.

The survey can be viewed at GP Online.


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