Proficiency of eye drop instillation in postoperative cataract patients in Ghana

Clin Ophthalmol. 2013:7:2099-105. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S50322. Epub 2013 Oct 29.


Objective: The purpose of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of postoperative instruction on proficiency of eye drop instillation following cataract surgery, and to determine whether such proficiency correlates with the prevalence and/or duration of irritation and pain experienced in operated eyes.

Design: This was a prospective, nonrandomized control trial with an educational intervention conducted via a single eye clinic in Accra, Ghana.

Participants: The 218 subjects who completed the study were postoperative cataract surgery patients whose surgery had been funded by the nongovernmental organization Unite for Sight.

Methods: Patients were evaluated on their ability to administer eye drops correctly on their first attempt on postoperative day one. If unsuccessful, patients were given an educational session that consisted of verbal instructions and an educational video. Both groups (successful and unsuccessful) on the first postoperative day were tested again for proficiency on postoperative day 30. The baseline group was evaluated only on postoperative day 30 and consisted of 36 patients.

Results: Of the 133 patients who received the educational session on eye drop instillation, 112 (84%) exhibited proficiency on postoperative day 30 as compared with 29 of 49 patients (59%) who did not receive the intervention. Additionally, there were fewer reports of pain and irritation following cataract extraction in the patients who received the educational session.

Conclusion: This study supports the efficacy of patient education in improving proficiency in eye drop instillation and in reducing pain and irritation following cataract extraction surgeries.

Keywords: cataract extraction; ophthalmic solutions; patient education; postoperative complications.