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Acceptability of intravitreal injections in geographic atrophy: protocol for a mixed-methods pilot study

Enoch, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-4614-6676, Ghulakhszian, A., Crabb, D. P. ORCID: 0000-0001-8754-3902 , Dinah, C. & Taylor, D. J. ORCID: 0000-0001-8261-5225 (2021). Acceptability of intravitreal injections in geographic atrophy: protocol for a mixed-methods pilot study. BMJ Open, 11, e049495. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-049495


INTRODUCTION: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of visual impairment, affecting central vision. Geographic atrophy (GA) is an advanced form of the non-neovascular (dry) type of AMD. Late-stage clinical trials suggest that intravitreal injections of novel therapeutics may slow down the rate of GA progression by up to 30% in 1 year, thus allowing people with GA to preserve central vision for a longer period. While intravitreal injections have become an established treatment modality for neovascular (wet) AMD, it is unknown whether patients with (more gradually progressing) GA would accept regular injections that slow down, but do not stop or reverse, vision loss. Therefore, this mixed-methods pilot study will aim to explore whether regular intravitreal injections will be acceptable as treatment for patients with GA, and the factors that may affect treatment acceptability.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A mixed-methods survey has been designed in collaboration with a GA patient advisory group. The survey comprises of structured questionnaires, semi-structured interview questions regarding patients' perceptions of intravitreal injections and the burden of treatment, and a task eliciting preferences between different potential treatments. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this study will be conducted remotely by telephone. Thirty individuals will be recruited from NHS Medical Retina clinics at Central Middlesex Hospital, London. Half of the participants will be naïve to intravitreal injections, while half will have previous experience of intravitreal injections for neovascular (wet) AMD. Qualitative data analysis will be conducted using the Framework Method of analysis to identify key themes from participants' accounts.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study received Health Research Authority approval on 23 March 2021 (IRAS Project ID: 287824). Findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations to the medical retina community, as well as through dialogue with patients and macular disease charities.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See:
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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