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HSR&D Citation Abstract

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The Effect of Eye Drop Technique Education in Patients With Glaucoma.

Carpenter DM, Sayner R, Blalock SJ, Muir KW, Hartnett ME, Lawrence SD, Giangiacomo AL, Goldsmith JA, Tudor GE, Robin AL, Sleath BL. The Effect of Eye Drop Technique Education in Patients With Glaucoma. Health communication. 2016 Aug 1; 31(8):1036-42.

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Education about how to administer eye drops may improve a patient''s ability to instill his or her eye drops correctly. Our objectives were to (a) document the methods providers use to educate glaucoma patients about eye drop technique; (b) determine whether eye drop technique education varies by provider and patient characteristics; and (c) evaluate whether education predicts improved patient technique. We conducted an 8-month longitudinal study of 279 glaucoma patients and 15 providers in which we recorded on videotape the content of glaucoma office visits at two time points (baseline and 4- to 6-week follow-up) and videotaped patient eye drop technique at three time points (baseline, 4- to 6-week follow-up, and 8-month follow-up). Mann-Whitney rank sum tests were used to determine whether education was associated with improved patient eye drop technique over time. Ninety-four patients (34%) received technique education at either visit; 31% received verbal education and 10% received a technique demonstration. Only 24 patients (47%) who were new to eye drops received technique education at the baseline visit. Patients who were new to drops at baseline (p  =  .008) and patients who asked a question about drops (p  <  .001) were more likely to receive technique education. Education was not associated with improved technique. Eye drop technique education occurs infrequently during glaucoma office visits. Future studies should compare the effectiveness of different educational methods, such as patient demonstration versus provider verbal instruction, to determine which method is best at improving patient eye drop technique.

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