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Abstract #98620 Published in IGR 22-4

Facilitators and Barriers to Using Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) as First-Line Treatment for Glaucoma: Physician and Patient Views Gathered during an Exploratory Descriptive Qualitative Study

Chen Y; Lohfeld L; Song D; Pak C; Gong X; Zhou W; Liang Y; Congdon N
Ophthalmic Epidemiology 2022; 0: 1-8

See also comment(s) by Rupert Bourne

PURPOSE: To explore the perception of selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) among physicians and patients and the acceptance of using SLT as first-line treatment for glaucoma. METHODS: Exploratory descriptive qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews with glaucoma specialists and patients in two eye hospital of Zhejiang and Guangdong Provinces, China. Data were analyzed using the thematic analysis framework approach. RESULTS: 11 glaucoma specialists and 12 glaucoma patients were interviewed. Four themes were identified in the data: Physicians' preferences for treatment types, patient views on treatment types, decision-making during the physician-patient encounter and feasibility of SLT as a first-line therapy. Advantages of SLT include safety and repeatability with limited side effects. However, concerns about the durability of the effect of the treatment were often mentioned by both physicians and patients. Some factors such as practice preference, personal motivation and patient characteristics may influence treatment choice. Most patients lack knowledge about SLT and hold high expectations of their treatments. Physicians report insufficient evidence supporting the use of SLT as first line therapy. Physicians report the need for locally relevant, evidence-based guidelines regarding the use of SLT in the treatment of glaucoma. CONCLUSIONS: SLT was suggested as the first-line treatment of glaucoma due to its reliable efficacy and potential advantage. Results from our study offer important insight into barriers of increasing the uptake of SLT, which also provides some guidance for the use of SLT in the future.

Eye Hospital and School of Ophthalmology and Optometry, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China.

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