the large, elaborate, patterned gardens at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna on a sunny day

We funded Charlene Formento, lead nurse at Moorfields Clinical Research Facility, to present her work at a conference in Vienna for the European Society of Retina Specialists.

The Moorfields Eye Charity Research Travel Grant enables Moorfields staff to present their research at national and international conferences. 

In 2018, we were proud to award Charlene Formento, lead nurse at Moorfields Clinical Research Facility, a Research Travel Grant to present her work at the 2018 European Society of Retina Specialists (EURETINA) conference which was held in Vienna, Austria. 

She presented her work on preventing unnecessary eye movements during intravitreal injections, a common procedure where patients receive injections to the back of their eye for diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, age related macular degeneration (AMD), central retinal vein occlusions, macular edema and uveitis. 

Charlene’s research developed a low-cost solution to fix patients gaze point during the procedure which has reduced the anxiety of the patient and eased the process for the staff administering the injection.

We asked Charlene to tell us more about the Clinical Research Facility (CRF), her research and her experience attending EURETINA 2018.

What is your role at Moorfields?

My role is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of patients undergoing clinical trials. 

I liaise with researchers to provide the necessary support for clinical research programmes within the CRF and above all I act as the patients’ advocate. 

Another important aspect of my role is to conduct, support and promote nursing research across Moorfields in order to raise research awareness and build research capability and capacity.

What is the focus of your research?

My research focused on improving the patient experience during intravitreal injections treatments by introducing a technique that promotes gaze fixation. 

Previous studies carried out at Moorfields found that out of 592 patients asked, 79 per cent said they were anxious around the intravitreal injection period while 35 per cent reported that they couldn’t understand the injector’s instructions of where to fix their gaze during the procedure and were afraid they may inadvertently move during the procedure. 

There was also a level of uncertainty of what to expect during the treatment.

Why is this research important?

This research is important because it’s well known that improved patient experience is highly associated with good patient outcomes. 

We looked for ways to reduce anxiety and used A3-sized coloured shapes pinned to the walls of the room where the injections were being carried out, as points for them to fix their gaze on. 

We also asked about the experience of the person administering the treatment to determine if the intervention improved the ease of administration, ensuring patient and clinician safety during the clinical procedure. 

The results showed that both patients and staff reported less anxiety associated with this aspect of the injection administration.

How will it help the patients and staff of Moorfields?

This low-cost intervention will improve the experience of both patients and staff during the intravitreal injection procedure by reducing anxiety and uncertainty around this delicate procedure.

What was your experience of attending the EURETINA conference?

The EURETINA conference promotes the sharing of knowledge among global vitreoretinal and macula specialists. 

I was delighted to share the findings of our study and hope this will benefit other patients around the world. 

It was also helpful for me to learn from the array of posters and presentations, for example the demographics and guidelines to manage and treat diabetic retinopathy at early stages, which I look forward to sharing with my Moorfields colleagues.