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Yao Liu, Dagny C. Zhu, Anne M. Lane, Justin M. Kanoff, Sona Chaudhry, Ankoor S. Shah; Assessment of Injury-Related Knowledge and Education in Patients Following Open-Globe Injury. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):4959.
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To assess patients’ understanding of their open-globe injuries at a tertiary eye trauma center in order to identify areas of improvement in patient-doctor communication.
A prospective study was conducted using voluntary survey questionnaires provided to patients with open-globe injuries seen in follow-up by the Eye Trauma Service at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary from May to August 2011.
Among all patients who completed the survey (n=24), 25% were female and 75% were male with an average age of 35.5 years (range 8-90). All patients had undergone initial surgical repair between 2009 and 2011. The majority of patients identified themselves as Caucasian (79%), while the remainder reported being of mixed Caucasian and African-American heritage (12.5%), Latino (4.2%), or did not specify (4.2%). The zone of open globe injury included 50% with isolated zone 1 injuries, 46% with zone 2 injuries, and 4.2% with zone 3 injuries. Patient satisfaction with their care was high, with all patients responding that they were either satisfied (29%) or very satisfied (71%). The vast majority of patients (92%) reported that their physician explained their eye injury "very well," but when patients were asked about their understanding of their eye condition, only 63% felt that they understood their eye injury "very well." The remainder reported understanding their condition only "somewhat well" (33%) or "very poorly" (4.2%). Nearly all patients (95.8%) reported that protective eye wear was recommended to them. Of note, most patients (66.7%) noted a decreased quality of life following their injury, with 25% reporting a "significantly worsened" quality of life due to difficulty with reading and ambulation. Worsening eye health was the most commonly-reported concern followed by loss of independence.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to assess patient knowledge and education following open-globe injury. Most patients perceived excellent communication from their physician, but many reported a lack of understanding of their eye condition that warrants further investigation into improving patient education. Physicians also should address patients’ significant concerns regarding quality of life, worsening eye health, and loss of independence. We believe that this and future survey-based studies will help physicians improve patient education and thereby improve quality of care in this population.
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