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Rajvi Mehta, Ahmad A Aref; Novel three-dimensional tactile markers on eye drop bottles improve accuracy of eye drop recognition for patients with low vision. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):1577.
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Currently patients differentiate between different eye drop bottles by reading the name of the medication and/or by identifying the eye drop bottle's cap color. Both these methods pose a challenge for patients with low visual acuity. This study aims to test the efficacy of introducing three-dimensional (3D) tactile markers on eye drop bottles to improve patients' ability to differentiate between eye drops.
Institutional Review Board approval was obtained. Patients were recruited from ophthalmology clinics and were asked to correctly identify the cap colors (pink, red, orange, blue, green, teal) on seven different eye drop bottles. They were then asked to identify the 3D tactile shapes (circle, square, triangle, star, heart, plus sign, curvy line) introduced as stickers at the bottom of an identical set of seven bottles (Figure 1). The number of correctly identified bottles using cap colors and 3D shape markers were scored for each patient as "color score" and "shape score" respectively (score range, 0 to 7). The main outcome was to compare the color score and shape score among patients with different visual acuities. The secondary outcome was to identify the level of visual acuity below which patients experience difficulty differentiating cap colors. The Snellen chart was used for all visual acuity measurements.
The final analysis included 76 patients with monocular or binocular vision ranging from 20/20 to no light perception. 41 of 76 patients (53.95%) with visual acuity less than 20/200 (LogMAR≥1.3) correctly identified on average 5.9% eye drop bottles using cap color and 80.8% eye drop bottles using the 3D shape markers. Their mean color score was 0.41 (SD=0.63; range, 0 to 2) and mean shape score was 5.66 (SD=0.72; range, 4 to 7). The remaining 35 of 76 patients (46.05%) with visual acuity 20/200 or better (LogMAR<1.3) correctly identified 97.1% and 99.2% eye drop bottles based on cap color and tactile shape markers respectively. The mean color score for this group was 6.8 (SD=0.53; range, 5 to 7) and mean shape score was 6.94 (SD=0.24; range, 6 to 7).
Patients with visual acuity lower than 20/200 had difficulty differentiating between cap colors and displayed better ability to recognize eye drop bottles using 3D shape markers compared to their ability to do so using cap colors.
This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
Figure 1: Eye drop bottles with 3D tactile markers
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