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Only eye study 2 (OnES 2): 'Am I going to be able to see when the patch comes off?' A qualitative study of patient experiences of undergoing high-stakes only eye surgery

Jones, L., Taylor, D. J. ORCID: 0000-0001-8261-5225, Sii, F. , Masood, I., Crabb, D. P. ORCID: 0000-0001-8754-3902 & Shah, P. (2020). Only eye study 2 (OnES 2): 'Am I going to be able to see when the patch comes off?' A qualitative study of patient experiences of undergoing high-stakes only eye surgery. BMJ OPEN, 10(11), e038916. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-038916


Objectives: Ocular surgery is a source of significant concern for many patients, especially in high-stakes circumstances. The purpose of this study was to explore patient experiences of undergoing surgery on their only-seeing eye.

Design: A qualitative investigation using semistructured face-to-face interviews. Transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis.

Setting: Hospital eye service in the UK.

Participants: Twelve participants with a diagnosis of glaucoma with worse eye visual acuity <3/60± end-stage visual field loss. All participants had experience of undergoing surgery on their better-seeing (ie, ‘only’) eye.

Results: Data were coded into three key themes relating to (1) emotional impact of surgery, (2) burden of visual loss and (3) coping with surgery. Patients reported depressive symptoms at all stages of their surgical journey; concern about poor visual outcomes was a common feature. Only eye surgery imposes an emotional burden due to the uncertainty regarding individuals’ ability to continue daily activities and maintaining social roles. Burden extended to the inconvenience of frequent hospital visits and difficulties with follow-up care. Participants’ ability to cope effectively with surgery appeared to be linked to extent of support from healthcare professionals. Key areas in developing trust and support were an open and transparent dialogue between surgeons and patients, continuity of care, patient inclusion in decision-making, and observable empathy.

Conclusions: The findings indicate a need for an enhanced model of care in only eye surgery to better target patient preferences and allay concerns inherent with these procedures.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) 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, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

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