Effective clinician-patient communication is particularly important in ophthalmology where long-term adherence to treatment is often required. However, in the context of increasingly pressurised clinics, there is a tendency to resort to written information leaflets not suited to patients with visual impairment, non-English speakers or those with low levels of literacy. Video-based media could be harnessed to enhance clinician-patient communication. This systematic review aimed to assess the efficacy of using video-based media for patient education in ophthalmology. A pre-defined search strategy was used by two independent researchers to systematically review the PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsycINFO databases. Eligible articles included peer-reviewed studies involving ophthalmology patients, who received a solely video-based educational intervention to assess for improvement in patient knowledge, behaviour and overall health-related outcomes. The search yielded 481 studies of which 31 passed initial screening. Following full-text analysis, 12 studies met the inclusion criteria, of which seven studies (58.3%) were randomised controlled trials. The majority of studies (58.3%) reported outcomes on patient comprehension with 5/7 (71%) showing statistically significant improvement after video intervention. Four studies (33.3%) reported on patient performance in a task (e.g. drop application method) or overall health-related outcome with 2/4 (50%) showing statistically significant improvement after intervention. Though more evidence is needed, the use of video-based media appears to be effective in improving patient understanding and in certain cases may ameliorate overall outcome. There is a paucity of well-designed studies and future research is required to fully examine the role of video-based media in patient education.
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