June 2021
Volume 62, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2021
Ophthalmic Procedure Training During COVID-19: Virtual and In-Person Training of the Suprachoroidal Injection Procedure
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nathan Fisher
    Clearside Biomedical Inc, Alpharetta, Georgia, United States
  • Shelley Hancock
    Clearside Biomedical Inc, Alpharetta, Georgia, United States
  • Thomas A Ciulla
    Clearside Biomedical Inc, Alpharetta, Georgia, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Nathan Fisher, Clearside Biomedical, Inc. (E); Shelley Hancock, Clearside Biomedical, Inc. (E); Thomas Ciulla, Clearside Biomedical, Inc. (E)
  • Footnotes
    Support  Clearside Biomedical, Inc.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2021, Vol.62, 1190. doi:
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      Nathan Fisher, Shelley Hancock, Thomas A Ciulla; Ophthalmic Procedure Training During COVID-19: Virtual and In-Person Training of the Suprachoroidal Injection Procedure. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(8):1190.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : The purpose of this analysis was to evaluate virtual and in-person training modalities to educate retinal specialists and other ophthalmology professionals on suprachoroidal injection with the SCS Microinjector®. Significant travel and site visitation restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic required that alternative virtual methodologies be developed to continue training when traditionally utilized in-person, wet lab instruction was not permitted.

Methods : Trainees for the suprachoroidal injection procedure included retina physician-investigators participating in clinical trials and non-physicians, including medical science liaisons and other ophthalmology professionals. Both training modalities included a review of a short film on the procedure, a slide review of key procedural steps, and practice injections with a custom-designed synthetic eye, moderated by a certified trainer providing live feedback. Virtual training was conducted via teleconference; both trainee and trainer connected via webcam and audio connection, with all supplies mailed prior to training. Following completion of training, a follow-up survey was sent to every trainee. Trainees were asked about training component preferences and confidence to perform the procedure on a 5-point Likert scale.

Results : A total of 31 trainees completed the survey following suprachoroidal injection training, including 21 physicians and 10 non-physicians. A total of 12 training sessions were completed virtually and 19 were completed in person. Physicians reported an average confidence to perform the procedure of 4.8 (range 4-5), while non-physicians reported an average of 4.2 (range 3-5), although non-physician trainees will not be performing the procedures in patients. Across all groups, the most useful component of training was the hands-on wet lab with the synthetic eye (71%) followed by the live trainer feedback and Q&A (26%). Nearly two-thirds of trainees felt that the training was comprehensive and no additional training elements were required.

Conclusions : Among trainees who completed virtual or in person training on the suprachoroidal injections, physician trainees felt highly confident to perform the procedure with patients. Training experience with a synthetic eye model and live feedback should be incorporated into training curriculums, whether virtual or in person.

This is a 2021 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.


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