Aims To compare the unique experiences related to artificial eye (AE) versus cosmetic shell (CS) wear.
Methods In this observational, cross-sectional study, the National Artificial Eye Questionnaire (NAEQ) was employed nationwide within the National Health Service England. The proportions or mean values of the aetiology of sight or eye loss, demographics, length of prosthesis wear, reported adjustment time to the prosthesis, comfort, discharge and satisfaction of appearance were compared between AE and CS respondents.
Results Overall, 951 respondents wore an AE, while 238 wore a CS. In both, trauma was the leading cause for the prosthesis (47.6% and 44.1%, respectively); however, these groups differed in the proportions of the other aetiologies (p<0.0001). AE respondents were generally older (p=0.002) and had longer overall prosthesis wear (p<0.0001) compared with CS respondents. The overall comfort score was similarly, relatively high in both AE and CS respondents (80.4±0.73 vs 81.41±1.45; p=0.51). The discharge-related patient satisfaction ranking was relatively low, in both groups, with a small trend towards worse discharge scores among AE wearers (59.41±0.76 vs 62.26±1.52, p=0.094). Self-reported length of time that has taken to adjust to wearing the prosthesis was not significantly different (p=0.17). Appearance of the eye (p=0.032) and motility of the prosthesis (p<0.0001) were ranked superior by CS respondents compared with AE.
Conclusions This study characterises unique aspects of CS versus AE in a large national cohort. The results should provide reinforcement to the gain in popularity of CS.
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