Fu et al evaluated factors affecting the level of distress experienced by a patient with facial nerve palsy. A significant percent of patients with facial palsy experience distress, which may not always be communicated to others. The authors are from the University of Manchester and the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.


Features of the palsy affecting distress:

(1) longer duration

(2) perception of the underlying illness and its consequences


The severity of the palsy did not correlate with the level of distress experienced.


Emotional factors that may increase distress:

(1) anxiety, which was greater in females

(2) depression

(3) maladaptive behaviors



(1) because of perceiving self as disfigured

(2) when eating

(3) when talking



(1) with being unable to express emotions

(2) with being unable to communicate effectively with others

(3) with being misinterpreted by others


All patients with facial nerve palsy should be screened for distress.


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