The Francis Crick Institute
abdulhussein-et-al-2024-practice-patterns-in-reporting-and-documentation-of-charles-bonnet-syndrome-a-retrospective.pdf (395.45 kB)

Practice patterns in reporting and documentation of Charles Bonnet syndrome: a retrospective review following COVID-19.

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-04-02, 11:48 authored by Dalia Abdulhussein, Lee Jones, Sri Harsha Dintakurti, Mariya Moosajee
BACKGROUND: Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS) is characterized by visual hallucinations occurring in people with visual impairment. CBS can negatively impact psychological well-being, and the COVID-19 pandemic period was associated with an exacerbation of symptoms. OBJECTIVES: To compare clinical practice patterns and reporting of CBS at a tertiary eye care center between an interval prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and an interval during the pandemic. DESIGN: Retrospective chart review. METHODS: A search of electronic medical records for all suspected CBS cases was conducted between 1 March 2019 and 29 February 2020 (prior pandemic interval) and between 1 September 2020 and 29 August 2021 (peri-pandemic interval). Data retrieved from records included patient demographics, visual acuity at the time of CBS onset, type of hallucinations, reporting healthcare professional, management strategies and patient-reported impact of hallucinations. RESULTS: In total, 223 appointments referred to CBS in 156 patients at the prior interval, while 239 appointments referred to CBS in 155 patients at the peri-pandemic interval, representing 0.07% and 0.09% of all hospital attendance, respectively. Clinical subspecialty where CBS was most commonly reported was medical retina, and a greater proportion of patients at both time intervals were female. Types of hallucinations, management strategies and patient-reported impact were seldom reported, although documentation improved at the latter interval. CONCLUSION: Practice patterns and patient characteristics were similar between the two intervals; however, subtle differences suggest a growing awareness of CBS. Targeted interventions in high-burden clinical subspecialties may encourage reporting and improve documentation of CBS.