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Table 8 Themes Derived from Patient Interviews

From: Readability of patient education materials in ophthalmology: a single-institution study and systematic review

Theme Supporting Quotations
Emphasize that we are available to help S1: “If you forgot something and need some help, you know who to call about the drops.”
S3: “I like that at the top it says in bold ‘the short answer is that if you’re worried, call.’ I think that leaves one with the idea that you’re not going to be a nightmare patient if you’re calling. I don’t think anyone wants to feel like that, like they’re the patient that’s calling too much or being a little anxious for no reason.”
Be concrete S2: “You miss two or three appointments, you might lose your eyes. So missing appointments is pretty vague, but the repercussions are very costly.”
S2: “Doing them both at the same time [cataract surgery and glaucoma surgery] will lower your eye pressure. My question is, what does that do for you? If you lower the eye pressure, I assume that’s good. If it’s high it’s not good.”
S2: “There are a couple of sentences that were sort of confusing to me. Like this one: ‘Make sure you understand how much vision loss you have [from glaucoma].’ How are you supposed to know that?”
S3: “I think it’s good that it [the post-operative handout] says, ‘if you have pain that’s not improved by Tylenol.’ You’re going to have pain [after surgery], but if it’s not going away with a light pain reliever, then you should call.”
S5: “I liked the idea that it was stressing that by missing any drops…how that can be detrimental.”
Give practical information [Interviewer: What stood out most to you about this one?]
S1: The reminders. Like setting your iPhone to remember [when to take your drops].
S3: “It’s got good practical information....About remembering to take a refill with you when you’re traveling, that’s a good reminder. Having people write a schedule is a practical piece of advice, and, you know, it’s good that it stresses the importance of the consistency of the appointments.”
Keep it simple S3: “It keeps it pretty simple. I think someone’s family member could read this and be like, okay, I’m on the same page with my loved one here.”
S5: “Absolutely, [I] prefer one page [for the length of the handout].”
Highlight key points S2: “Some people that are real busy would look at the highlights, skim through it. See what seems important....You could highlight a few things like exercise or whatever that’s important, that type of thing. It’s the things I look at whenever I read these types of things, the things that I focus in at. People don’t read more than 2 or 3 pages at a time.”
S3: “The emergency number is at the bottom. I would maybe move that to the top.”
Give a picture of the road ahead S2: “It seems like when I get involved [have the need for cataract surgery], this would be a good starting point for me, to answer questions for me.”
S3: “I don’t have it [glaucoma] yet, you know, I guess I’m a candidate because of the pressure, but I think with that in mind its got good information.”
S3: “If you’re new to this as I’m going to be when I have the drops, it’s good for someone who’s younger like me who has a risk, I don’t think it’s bad to mention to have them somewhere convenient, by your bathroom, by your bedside, in the kitchen, with other medications.”
S3: “It’s saying you’ve got to keep an eye on this stuff [post-operative complications] for a long time and be careful about observing it.”
Maintain a positive tone S3: “It’s caring, sensitive, helpful, and it’s positive. You stay on top of this and everything should be, you know, that will be the best for you. So it’s encouraging in the sense of, just stay on top of this condition, and, you’ll be in a better place as a patient.”
S3: “It encourages you to educate yourself, and once you’ve met with one of you all, you kind of educate yourself about the risk factors; in my case, the eye pressure. So you just kind of leave knowing that you just have to take your drops and just kind of stay on top of it.”
Provide source for more information S3: “I like the encouragement to learn about it [referring to the website to go to for more information on glaucoma], I think that lends to the positive nature about the handout, you know, go learn more about it, educate yourself. I guess doctors say an educated patient is an empowered patient.”
S4: “I like this website. Because I do try to read everything I can find on glaucoma.”
Illustrate S1: Would like a picture of “what glaucoma looks like in the eye.”
S2: “Definitely pictures are better. I’m not too graphic, but color would be a good if it’s a picture of the eye. Help people understand better.”
S3: Desires “an image about the optic nerve and where that is. Like an eye diagram.”
S5: “Perhaps there could be a little bit more of the demonstration or more of a verbal detailed aspect of actually putting the drop in your eye because that was traumatic for me.”