Handling test of eye drop dispenser-comparison of unit-dose pipettes with conventional eye drop bottles
Purpose: The aims of this study were to investigate how elderly people handle single-use eye drop dispensers (unit-dose pipettes) and to compare the performance with conventional eye drop bottles.
Methods: In this open-label study, the handling of unit-dose pipettes and conventional eye drop bottles was compared in 41 elderly people who had little or no prior regular use of eye drop dispensers. The participants tested both types of dispenser once, and the following 7 variables were studied: ease/difficulty of opening the dispenser; influence of the size for handling of the dispenser; influence of the shape for handling of the dispenser; observation of the contents in the dispenser; the feeling of the dispenser in the hand; ease/difficulty of drop instillation on the eye from the dispenser; and overall performance of the eye drop dispenser. The dispensers contained isotonic saline, and a visual analog scale was used for assessment of each of the above variables.
Results: The mean age of the participants was 73 years. A statistically significant difference in favor of the unit-dose pipettes was found with respect to observation of the contents in the dispenser, ease of administration, and the overall performance. Women regarded the unit-dose pipettes generally better than the bottles, but such a difference was not seen in men.
Conclusions: The study participants managed the unit-dose pipettes at least as well as the conventional eye drop bottles. If anything, the unit-dose pipettes appeared to be easier to use.