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Designing an iPad application to improve the quality of consent for cataract surgery

Poster Details

First Author: S.Mamtora UK

Co Author(s):    S. Khan   D. Leadbetter   M. Chak              

Abstract Details


Patients undergoing cataract surgery have been shown to have a poor understanding of the associated risk of complications. Many such patients have significant pre-operative visual impairment. We therefore designed an iPad (Apple, USA) application which included features to improve accessibility for sight impaired patients to improve the understanding of potential cataract surgery related complications and aimed to test its efficacy through this study.


Ophthalmology department, Great Western Hospital, Swindon, UK


An application consisting of interactive pages with integrated photos and animations to explain the patient's journey of cataract surgery from pre-assessment to post-operative care was designed for use on an iPad. A section related to cataract surgery related complications was featured. The application was designed to be accessible for users with visual impairment with features including voice-over functionality, the ability to enlarge text and an option to enhance contrast. A single clinician demonstrated the application to patients who had either recently had cataract surgery or whom were awaiting cataract surgery. Patients were asked to complete and return an objective questionnaire.


Twenty patients returned the questionnaire including 8 (40%) of whom had recent cataract surgery and 12 (60%) who were awaiting cataract surgery to their first eye. Of those who had recent surgery, none experienced complications. Five of these patients (63%) stated that they did not fully understand the risks of cataract surgery at the time of their operation. All participants recorded that they felt the iPad application would improve the understanding of both cataract surgery and its associated risks. All participants felt that the design of the application was broadly accessible and could be used by sight-impaired patients.


The study participants felt that the application improved their understanding of cataract surgery related complications surgery and that the format of the application was accessible for patients with sight impairment. Our novel application of mobile technology may improve patient understanding of cataract surgery and therefore improve the quality of consent in a relatively cost-effective way. The utility of our application needs to be demonstrated in larger studies across multiple centres.

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