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Eye drop technique and patient-reported problems in a real-world population of eye drop users

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Objective To assess eye drop technique and patient-reported problems with eye drop instillation in a primary care sample of eye drop users. Methods Cross-sectional observational study in 136 community pharmacies in Belgium. Patient inclusion criteria were being age >= 18 years and using eye drops for >= 1 month (to ensure that patients were already familiar with eye drop instillation). Participants demonstrated their eye drop technique and completed a self-administered questionnaire. Results Participants (n = 678) had a mean age of 68.9 +/- 12.4 years. During the demonstration, almost everyone (98.0%) successfully instilled at least one drop in the eye, although 14% required multiple attempts to achieve this. Only 3% of the sample exhibited perfect drop technique, meaning that they performed correctly all the steps. Most common deviations were touching the bottle to the eye or eyelid (40.7% of patients), and failing to close the eye (67.8%) and perform nasolacrimal occlusion for at least 1 min (94.7%) after drop instillation. Importantly, we found that 20% of ophthalmic suspensions were not shaken before use. Forty percent of patients reported >= 1 problem with eye drop instillation. Most common problems were difficulties with getting a drop in the eye (18.3% of patients), too many drops coming out of the bottle (14.6%), and difficulty squeezing the bottle (12.2%). About half of the sample recalled having had education in eye drop instillation technique. Conclusion This study showed suboptimal eye drop technique in real-world clinical practice. A proactive role of community pharmacists in detecting and resolving these problems could be helpful.
Journal: Eye
ISSN: 0950-222X
Issue: 8
Volume: 34
Pages: 1392 - 1398
Publication year:2020