Low Vision Depression Prevention Trial for Age Related Macular Degeneration (VITAL)

This study is currently recruiting participants. (see Contacts and Locations)
Verified August 2014 by Thomas Jefferson University
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Johns Hopkins University
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Thomas Jefferson University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
First received: October 7, 2008
Last updated: August 5, 2014
Last verified: August 2014

October 7, 2008
August 5, 2014
June 2009
June 2015   (final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Depression [ Time Frame: 4 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
Same as current
Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00769015 on ClinicalTrials.gov Archive Site
  • Vision Function [ Time Frame: 4 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Quality of Life [ Time Frame: 4 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
Same as current
Not Provided
Not Provided
Low Vision Depression Prevention Trial for Age Related Macular Degeneration
Low Vision Depression Prevention Trial for Age Related Macular Degeneration

This randomized, controlled clinical trial, the Low Vision Depression Prevention TriAL (VITAL), will test the efficacy of collaborative low vision rehabilitation (LVR) to prevent depressive disorders in Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). In this innovative intervention, a low vision occupational therapist collaborates with a low vision optometrist to develop and implement a care plan based on a subject's vision status, rehabilitation potential, and personal rehabilitation goals. An independent rater masked to treatment assignment will assess depressive disorders meeting DSM-IV criteria (primary outcome) and targeted vision function and vision-related quality of life (secondary outcomes) at baseline and then at 4 months to evaluate short-term effects (main trial end point) and at 12 months to evaluate long-term effects.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in older persons in the U.S. and affects more than 10 million people. One third of patients with AMD become clinically depressed when they lose the ability to pursue valued activities. Because their depression is disabling and unlikely to be treated, preventing depression in AMD is a public health imperative as the population ages.

We will recruit 200 subjects who have bilateral AMD and subthreshold depressive symptoms. Their bilateral vision loss and subthreshold depressive symptoms increase their risk to develop more severe depressive disorders and functional decline. We will randomize eligible subjects to collaborative Low Vision Rehabilitation (LVR) (optometrist and home-based OT) or enhanced LVR (optometrist and home-based Supportive Therapy). In this study, usual care LVR is enhanced with Supportive Therapy (ST), which is a standardized placebo psychological treatment that controls for attention.

Many older persons with AMD understandably become depressed when their vision loss prevents them from pursuing valued goals. This necessitates a disease management strategy that combines treatment for vision loss and depression. Because depression in AMD is rarely treated, preventing depression is more sensible than waiting to treat it after diagnosis or failing to treat it at all. As the population ages and more people are affected with AMD, finding ways to prevent depression and improve daily functioning has great public health importance. For these reasons, the VITAL Trial has high clinical significance to patients with AMD, and wider public health significance as our society confronts the challenge of caring for the growing population of older adults with chronic disabilities.

Phase 3
Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
  • Age-related Macular Degeneration
  • Depression
  • Behavioral: BA-LVR
    Low vision clinic-based optometry plus 6 in-home occupational therapy visits
  • Behavioral: ST-LVR
    Clinic-based low vision optometry plus 6 in-home sessions of Supportive Therapy
  • Experimental: BA-LVR
    In BA-LVR, a low vision occupational therapist (OT) will deliver Behavior Activation (BA), a psychological treatment to prevent depression. This will be administered in the context of the standard of low vision care for OTs as defined by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). The OTs will collaborate with low vision optometrists, who will deliver the standard of low vision care as defined by the American Optometric Association. The optometrists will evaluate remaining vision and magnification needs, prescribe optical devices, and provide the OTs with initial care plans. The OTs will subsequently meet with subjects in their homes 6 times over 12 weeks to enhance device use, home modifications, and compensatory strategies.
    Intervention: Behavioral: BA-LVR
  • Placebo Comparator: ST-LVR
    Subjects randomized to ST-LVR will receive clinic-based low vision optometry, in addition to 6 in-home Supportive Therapy (ST) sessions. ST is a placebo condition that controls for the attention that subjects in the active treatment arm will receive.
    Intervention: Behavioral: ST-LVR
Not Provided

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
December 2015
June 2015   (final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age at least 65 years old
  • Bilateral AMD
  • Subthreshold depressive symptoms
  • At least 1 vision goal that is important yet difficult to carry out

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Uncontrolled glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, corneal dystrophy, or cataracts for which surgery within 6 months is likely will be exclusionary conditions
  • Current diagnosis of depression
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Life-threatening illness or any other health conditions that interferes with study activities.
  • Patients who have received low vision rehabilitation or home-based OT in the preceding 12 months will be excluded.
65 Years and older
United States
Thomas Jefferson University
Thomas Jefferson University
  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
  • Johns Hopkins University
Not Provided
Thomas Jefferson University
August 2014

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP