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Article

The COVID-19 Pandemic and Ophthalmic Care: A Qualitative Study of Patients with Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration (nAMD)

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School of Psychology, Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK
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Centre for Public Health, Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast BT12 6BA, UK
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Bristol Trials Centre (CTEU), University of Bristol, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol BS2 8HW, UK
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Southampton Clinical Trials Unit, University of Southampton, University Road, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
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Exeter Clinical Trials Unit (EXECTU), St. Lukes Campus, University of Exeter, Exeter EX1 2LT, UK
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Department of Eye and Vision Science, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L7 8TX, UK
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James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Norfolk NR31 6LA, UK
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Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK
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NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London EC1V 2PD, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: José Joaquín Mira
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9488; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159488
Received: 16 June 2022 / Revised: 28 July 2022 / Accepted: 30 July 2022 / Published: 2 August 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Patient Experience (during COVID-19 Pandemic/in the COVID-19 Era))
Concerns have been expressed about the relationship between reduced levels of health care utilisation and the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to elicit and explore the views of patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and their ophthalmic care. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with thirty-five patients with nAMD taking part in a larger diagnostic accuracy study of home-monitoring tests. Participants were recruited using maximum variation sampling to capture a range of key characteristics including age, gender and time since initial treatment. Transcribed interview data were analysed using a deductive and inductive thematic approach. Three themes emerged from the analysis: i. access to eye clinic care. ii. COVID-19-mitigating factors and care delivery and iii. social and personal circumstances. Participants reported anxieties about cancelled or delayed appointments, limited communication from clinic-based services about appointments, and the impact of this on their ongoing care. Despite these concerns, there was apprehension about attending appointments due to infection risk and a perception that nAMD patients are a ‘high risk’ group. Views of those who attended clinics during the study period were, however, positive, with social distancing and infection control measures providing reassurance. These findings contribute to our understanding about experiences of patients with nAMD during the COVID-19 pandemic and may have potential implications for future planning of care services in similar circumstances. Innovative approaches may be required to address issues related to access to care, including concerns about delayed or cancelled appointments. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; patient perspective; ophthalmic care; qualitative methods COVID-19; patient perspective; ophthalmic care; qualitative methods
MDPI and ACS Style

O’Connor, S.R.; Treanor, C.; Ward, E.; Wickens, R.A.; O’Connell, A.; Culliford, L.A.; Rogers, C.A.; Gidman, E.A.; Peto, T.; Knox, P.C.; Burton, B.J.L.; Lotery, A.J.; Sivaprasad, S.; Reeves, B.C.; Hogg, R.E.; Donnelly, M.; MONARCH Study Group. The COVID-19 Pandemic and Ophthalmic Care: A Qualitative Study of Patients with Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration (nAMD). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 9488. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159488

AMA Style

O’Connor SR, Treanor C, Ward E, Wickens RA, O’Connell A, Culliford LA, Rogers CA, Gidman EA, Peto T, Knox PC, Burton BJL, Lotery AJ, Sivaprasad S, Reeves BC, Hogg RE, Donnelly M, MONARCH Study Group. The COVID-19 Pandemic and Ophthalmic Care: A Qualitative Study of Patients with Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration (nAMD). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(15):9488. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159488

Chicago/Turabian Style

O’Connor, Seán R., Charlene Treanor, Elizabeth Ward, Robin A. Wickens, Abby O’Connell, Lucy A. Culliford, Chris A. Rogers, Eleanor A. Gidman, Tunde Peto, Paul C. Knox, Benjamin J. L. Burton, Andrew J. Lotery, Sobha Sivaprasad, Barnaby C. Reeves, Ruth E. Hogg, Michael Donnelly, and MONARCH Study Group. 2022. "The COVID-19 Pandemic and Ophthalmic Care: A Qualitative Study of Patients with Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration (nAMD)" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 15: 9488. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159488

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