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Do health care workers make better use of eye drops than their patients?

Poster Details

First Author: E.Kanonidou GREECE

Co Author(s):    C. Kanonidou   G. Sakkias   L. Papazisis        

Abstract Details


Eyedrops instillation is used for the treatment of various eye disorders such as ocular infections, glaucoma, uveitis, allergic reactions. Eyedrops should be administered in accordance to specific directions as a poor instillation technique may lead to the transmission of infection from one eye to the other or to the development of irreversible damage. The aim of the study was to assess the technique of eye drops instillation in healthcare professionals in comparison to patients.


Department of Ophthalmology, ‘'Hippokrateion'' General Hospital of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece/Department of Ophthalmology, General Hospital of Veria, Veria, Greece


A total of 61 healthcare professionals (doctors and nurses, male/female: 26/35, mean age 57.8 years) and 57 patients (male/female: 26/31, mean age 59.9) with different educational backgrounds participated in the study. All instilled eye drops by themselves. The evaluation was conducted with the use of a self-administered questionnaire.


99% of the health professionals and 97% of the patients believed they instilled the eye drops correctly. A percentage of 3% and 8% respectively said they rarely missed one dose. Only 37% and 30% of each group washed their hands before instillation. Among the healthcare staff 61% reported contact of the vial tip with the periocular tissues while the same answer was given by 69% of the patients. Pulling the lower eyelid during drop instillation was reported by 78% and 73% of each group. 86% of staff members closed their eyes after instillation, 6% of them occluded the canaliculus, 83% cleaned the excess of drops. For the patient group, the respective rates were 76%, 4% and 69%.


The procedure for insertion of eye drops was not significantly different among health professionals and patients and a significant proportion of healthcare professionals fail to follow safe practices. These findings highlight the need for a better education of both healthcare staff and the patients regarding the safe administration of topical eye medication. FINANCIAL INTEREST: NONE

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