Purpose: To assess whether telephone review on the first day after uneventful phacoemulsification is as effective as postoperative review in a hospital or the patients' home by nursing staff.
Setting: Sunderland Eye Infirmary, Sunderland, United Kingdom.
Method: This prospective study comprised 3 arms, each of which consisted of 100 patients who had uneventful phacoemulsification with intraocular lens implantation. Patients received the same postoperative medications and were given a questionnaire regarding their opinions on the method of postoperative review. The method of review was different for each arm as follows: (1) home review by a nurse, (2) return to the hospital for review by a nurse, and (3) telephone review by a nurse. Statistical analysis of relative frequencies was done; exact testing was applied throughout to test for differences in proportions and, where applicable, to construct 95% confidence intervals.
Results: There were no significant differences between the 3 groups in the degree to which patients understood the instructions and questions. The telephone group was significantly less reassured than the home-visit group, but there was no significant difference in the degree of reassurance between the telephone and hospital-visit groups. Seventy percent of patients in the telephone group listed telephone review as their preferred method of postoperative review.
Conclusion: In cases of uneventful phacoemulsification, telephone review is safe, effective, and acceptable and is a reasonable alternative to other first-day review methods.