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The Only Eye Study (OnES): a qualitative study of surgeon experiences of only eye surgery and recommendations for patient safety

Jones, L., Taylor, D. J. ORCID: 0000-0001-8261-5225, Sii, F. , Masood, I., Crabb, D. P. ORCID: 0000-0001-8754-3902 & Shah, P. (2019). The Only Eye Study (OnES): a qualitative study of surgeon experiences of only eye surgery and recommendations for patient safety. BMJ Open, 9, e030068. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030068


OBJECTIVE: Performing surgery on patients with only one seeing-eye, where complications may result in catastrophic vision loss, presents unique challenges for the ophthalmic care team. There is currently no evidence regarding how surgeons augment their care when treating only eye patients and no guidelines for how these patients should be managed in hospital eye services. This study aimed to explore ophthalmic surgeons' experiences of only eye surgery and perceptions of current practice.

DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: Ten ophthalmic surgeons were asked to relate their experiences and views on performing only eye surgery in indepth, semistructured interviews. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. Qualitative data were subjected to thematic analysis to identify key themes.

SETTING: Hospital eye service.

RESULTS: Five key themes emerged relating to surgeons' experiences and perceptions of only eye surgery: (1) differences in approach to consent, (2) strategies for risk reduction, (3) unmet training needs, (4) value of surgical mentor and (5) emotional impact of unsuccessful outcomes. Recommendations for improving the surgical journey for both the patient and the surgeon related primarily to better recognition and understanding of the complexities inherent with only eye surgery.

CONCLUSIONS: Outcomes of only eye surgery may be improved through a number of methods, including development of purpose-designed training fellowships, adoption of stress-reducing strategies and enhancement of available support services. The findings identify emerging themes unique to only eye surgery and the need for guidelines on the provision of care for these high-stakes surgical patients.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RD Surgery
R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
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