Publisher: BMJ Open. 2019 Nov 19;9(11):e030523.

Authors: Laura A Edwards, Deanna J Taylor, Peter Campbell, Rakhee Shah, David F Edgar, David P Crabb

Feeling the pressure: a cross-sectional study exploring feasibility of a healthcare Pop-Up for intraocular pressure measurements in shopping centres in England


Objectives: To test the hypothesis that a shopping centre Pop-Up health check combining an intraocular pressure (IOP) check with a general health check (blood pressure (BP)) is more readily accepted by the general public than an IOP check only. We investigate public awareness of IOP compared with BP and the feasibility of measuring IOP in large numbers in a Pop-Up.

Design: A cross-sectional study using a tailor-made healthcare Pop-Up.

Setting: The ‘Feeling the Pressure’ Pop-Up was sited in eight regionally-different shopping centres in England.

Participants: Adult members of the public in shopping centres.

Methods: On one day we measured IOP only and on another measured BP and IOP. IOP was measured by Icare IC100 tonometer (Helsinki, Finland). Potential participants were asked about their awareness of IOP and BP and when they last visited their optometrist.

Results: More people attended the combined BP + IOP days (461; 60%; 95% CI 56% to 64%) than IOP-only days (307; 40%, 95% CI 37% to 43%) over 16 days of testing. We recorded IOP in 652 participants (median (IQR) age and IOP of 54 (42 to 68) years and 13 (11 to 15) mm Hg, respectively). Fewer people reported awareness about IOP (19%, 95% CI 16% to 23%) compared with BP (71%, 95% CI 66% to 75%). Of 768 participants, 60 (8%) reported no previous optometric eye examination and 185 (24%) reported >2 years since their most recent examination.

Conclusions: Measuring IOP in large numbers of the public via a shopping centre Pop-Up is feasible. Public engagement was greater when a BP check was offered alongside an IOP check, suggesting unfamiliar health checks can be promoted by aligning them with a more familiar check. Our findings hint at strategies for public health schemes that engage the public with their eye health.

Keywords: intra-ocular pressure; ocular health; optometry; primary care; public health.


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