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A qualitative investigation into patients’ views on visual field testing for glaucoma monitoring

Glen, FC; Baker, H; Crabb, DP; (2014) A qualitative investigation into patients’ views on visual field testing for glaucoma monitoring. BMJ Open , 4 (1) , Article e003996. 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003996. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the views and experiences of patients regarding their glaucoma follow-up, particularly towards the type and frequency of visual field (VF) testing. DESIGN: A qualitative investigation using focus groups. The group discussion used broad open questions around the topics in a prompt guide relating to experiences of glaucoma follow-up, and in particular, VF monitoring. All the groups were taped, transcribed and coded using manual and computer-aided methods. SETTING: Three National Health Service (NHS) hospitals in England; two focus groups took place at each hospital. PARTICIPANTS: 28 patients (mean (SD) age: 74 (9) years; 54% women) diagnosed with glaucoma for at least 2 years. Each focus group consisted of 3–6 patients. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOMES: (1) Attitudes and experiences of patients with glaucoma regarding VF testing. (2) Patients’ opinions about successful follow-up in glaucoma. RESULTS: These patients did not enjoy the VF test but they recognised the importance of regular monitoring for preserving their vision. These patients would agree to more frequent VF testing on their clinician's recommendation. A number of themes recurred throughout the focus groups representing perceived barriers to follow-up care. The testing environment, waiting times, efficiency of appointment booking and travel to the clinic were all perceived to influence the general clinical experience and the quality of assessment data. Patients were also concerned about aspects of patient–doctor communication, and often received little to no feedback about their results. CONCLUSIONS: Patients trust the clinician to make the best decisions for their glaucoma follow-up. However, patients highlighted a number of issues that could compromise the effectiveness of VF testing. Addressing patient-perceived barriers could be an important step for devising optimal strategies for follow-up care.

Type: Article
Title: A qualitative investigation into patients’ views on visual field testing for glaucoma monitoring
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003996
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003996
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1530921
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