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Pilot Study of Clinician-Patient Collaboration in Glaucoma

Smith, M., Bresolin, M. & McCabe, R. ORCID: 0000-0003-2041-7383 (2021). Pilot Study of Clinician-Patient Collaboration in Glaucoma. Clinical Ophthalmology, 15, pp. 1715-1726. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S292347


Purpose: This pilot study was undertaken to examine the feasibility of a larger scale trial examining the effect of interventions to improve patient-clinician collaboration. The primary outcome was the extent of clinician-patient collaboration during glaucoma consultations. The secondary outcomes were the results of the Patient Experience Questionnaire and the patients’ opinion of how involved they were in decisions about their care and how keen they would be to increase this involvement.

Methods: This is an observational study of clinician-patient communication involving 9 glaucoma clinicians and 37 patients attending a glaucoma monitoring clinic. Consultations were videotaped and later assessed for the degree of collaboration. Patients completed a validated Patient Experience Questionnaire and a questionnaire designed to collect the patients’ opinion of how involved they were in decisions about their care.

Results: The consultations were largely “clinician centred” with clinicians speaking 58% of the sentences and asking a mean of 8.1 questions compared to the patients 2.6. Glaucoma medications were discussed in 97% of consultations. When a treatment change was recommended in 53% of cases different options were discussed. Patients had an overall positive opinion of the consultations. Although 80% of patients indicated they were happy with how involved they were in decisions about their care 44% said they would like to be more involved, and 47% would welcome written information or information sessions on how to be more involved in decisions about their care.

Conclusion: Glaucoma consultations remain “clinician-centred” and, in view of the evidence of the benefits of good clinician-patient collaboration, further studies to examine interventions to improve clinician-patient collaboration may be of benefit to glaucoma patients. These interventions could target both clinicians and patients, and many patients in this study indicated they would like to be more involved in decisions about their care and would welcome support in achieving this.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021 Smith et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.
Publisher Keywords: glaucoma, communication, ophthalmology
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
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