Abstract
DO PHARMACY STUDENTS POSSESS THE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL TO ADVISE GLAUCOMA PATIENTS?

Yonis Abdi, Patrick Ball and *Hana Morrissey

ABSTRACT

Glaucoma is a chronic condition that may lead to visual field loss and potential blindness. Although, it is considered to be incurable it can be managed with the aid of eye drops. However, patients are frequently non-adherent to their medication regimen and therefore experience decreased overall health outcome. It is important that healthcare professionals possess adequate knowledge to engage with patients in encouraging and educating them to increase their health literacy and adhere to their medicine regimen. This paper examines final year pharmacy students‟ understanding of glaucoma, its management and recognising its symptoms in a community setting. A 10 question survey was specially designed for pharmacy students, testing their baseline knowledge without the use of external sources such as a BNF or NICE guidelines. It was found that students showed inadequate knowledge of glaucoma with only 34.4% of the participants knowing the aetiology of primary open angle glaucoma. Although this study is small in sample size, it follows a pattern found in various studies using other health care professional students. Therefore, it appears a problem exists in the teaching of glaucoma in universities.

Keywords: Glaucoma, open angle, primary glaucoma, closed angel, eye drops formulations.


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