Development of an information brochure on corneal transplantation and increasing the willingness to donate corneas

Introduction: Corneal diseases such as bullous keratopathy, keratoconus, descemetocele, eye infections that do not respond to antimicrobial therapy, and penetrating eye injuries can lead to blindness. When visual function has been irreversibly damaged and any conservative, surgical or other medical treatment has failed, corneal transplantation is the only treatment option. However, there is a worldwide shortage of corneal transplants.
Aim: The aim of the present study was the development of a cornea transplantation information/educational brochure capable to raise cornea donation-related willingness of the public.
Materials and Methods: A mixed methods study for the development of an information/educational brochure in raising public’s willingness towards cornea donation was carried out in December 2021. The study participants were 25 ophthalmology residents and specialists, as well as nurses. For the data collection, an interview guide was used. For the quantitative data descriptive analysis, the IBM SPSS 28 software package was used, and for the coding and further analysis of the qualitative ones, the software program NVivo (Released 1.0).
Results: Regarding the socio-demographic characteristics of physicians and nurses, 14/25 (56%) were female, 18/25 (72%) were aged 26-35 years, 22/25 (88%) were physicians, 17/25 (68%) held a bachelor or a professional (MD) degree, and 13/25 (52%) responded that they could use the brochure in their practice. From the analysis of the qualitative question to the 25 experts, “What improvements could be made to make the brochure more effective?”, the following four themes emerged: (i) “No comments on possible improvements“, 15/25 (60%); (ii) “Very positive statements regarding the brochure”, 6/25 (24%); (iii) “Suggestions for changes to the images/illustrations” 2/25 (8%); and (iv) “Suggestions for changes to the brochure’s text order” 3/25 (12%).
Conclusion: The brochure produced to increase the public’s willingness towards cornea donation from this study was considered adequate and able to achieve its purpose. To confirm the above hypothesis, future longitudinal/experimental studies should be conducted.