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Colin S H Tan, Wilfred Tang, Say Beng Tan, Kah-Guan Au Eong

Visual experience during cataract surgery: a nation-wide survey on the knowledge of optometry students

publication date
2005 Jan
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Purpose: Many patients experience a variety of visual sensations during cataract surgery under local anaesthesia. Up to 16.2% of patients are frightened by their intraoperative visual experience. This study aimed to determine the knowledge and beliefs of optometry students on this subject.

Methods: A nationwide survey using a standardised, self-administered questionnaire was conducted on all optometry students in Singapore.


Results: For cataract surgery under regional anaesthesia, 38.9% of the respondents believed that patients might experience no light perception while 68.5% felt that patients were likely to be able to perceive light. Overall, 70.4% felt that patients might be frightened by their visual experiences and 88.0% believed that preoperative counselling of patients would serve to reduce the fear experienced during the surgery. For cataract surgery under topical anaesthesia, 37.0% of the respondents believed that patients would perceive no light and 74.1% believed that patients would retain light perception. Overall, 67.6% believed that patients may be frightened and 86.1% felt that preoperative counselling would help.

Conclusion: Many optometry students correctly believed that patients might experience a variety of visual sensations during cataract surgery under local anaesthesia. The majority were also aware that patients might be frightened by this and felt that preoperative counselling would be helpful.


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