Clinicians should consider using a patient education video to help prepare patients for cataract surgery, according to a recent study from the United Kingdom. Researchers found that an informational video was an inexpensive and effective way to reduce anxiety and improve the overall patient experience for those undergoing cataract surgery.

This prospective, controlled trial evaluated 200 patients (100 in the intervention group, 100 in the control group). The primary outcome measures were a questionnaire based on the Amsterdam Preoperative Anxiety and Information Score (APAIS) and a visual analog scale (VAS) score. The questionnaire was administered to all patients preoperatively, whether they saw the education video or not. The team found a significant difference in mean anxiety scores between the control group and the intervention group.

They noted that responses to the APAIS statement, "I am worried about the procedure" showed that control group patients were significantly more worried than intervention group patients. On a five-point scale—where 1 signifies the patient is not at all worried and 5 indicates they are extremely worried—patients in the control group most often listed a 3, while those who say the educational video often reported a 1.

“Such interventions could improve the overall experience of cataract surgery patients,” the researchers concluded in their paper on the study. 

Ahmed KJ, Pilling JD, Ahmed K, et al. Effect of a patient-information video on the preoperative anxiety levels of cataract surgery patients. February 8, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].