Purpose: To assess the effect of patient education on videotaped topical instillation of artificial tear drops on subsequent topical instillation.
Materials and methods: Forty-five patients, who had been using glaucoma drops for at least 6 months and with a best-corrected visual acuity of 20/100 or better, were studied. The patients were asked to instill an artificial tear drop using their accustomed technique while being video recorded. The patients viewed the recordings, and the errors in their drop instillation method were pointed out. This was followed by an educational session on proper drop instillation technique. After 30 minutes, patients were videotaped instilling drops to ascertain the effect of the educational session. The variables compared were: number of drops instilled, number of drops reaching the ocular surface, and the number of times the tip of the medication bottle touched the eye or ocular adnexa.
Results: Before the instruction session, patients squeezed an average of 1.5 ± 0.9 drops from the bottle, and the average number of drops reaching the conjunctival fornix was 0.9 ± 0.7. The tip of the bottle touched the ocular adnexa in 29/45 (64.4%) patients. After the education session, the patients squeezed an average of 1.2 ± 0.5 drops and an average of 1.2 ± 0.4 drops reached the conjunctival fornix. The tip of the bottle touched the ocular adnexa in 13/45 (28.9%) patients. With proper instructions, the percentage of patients that instilled just one drop on the eye increased from 66 to 82%.
Conclusion: A single educational session on the proper use of topical drops improves the successful instillation of eye drops. However, it was not determined whether the patients will retain the improved instillation technique for long-term or if the intervention results in only a short-term improvement.
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