Background and Importance The number of patients treating themselves via the subcutaneous (SC) administration route has widely increased in recent years. Although self-medication can reduce waiting times and save money, is a public health concern that it may carry some potential risks associated with inappropriate management. Getting the correct method of administration is essential to ensure the drug’s effectiveness and minimise the risk of complications.
We propose to take advantage of the benefits that new technology, such as virtual reality (VR), could provide for patients’ performance.
Aim and Objectives This investigation aimed to explore patients’ perceptions of their experiences with SC injection self-administration and their willingness to implement VR to improve their learning process of the method of administration.
Material and Methods An observational and transversal study was performed. The adults who attended for subcutaneous medicine dispensing were included. A yes/no survey was conducted regarding to medication first self-administration knowledge, handling skills, administration errors, risk perception, clarity of information received and whether a VR environment would help their learning.
Forty-five patients were included Mean ± SD age was 51 ± 12 years. Most of the patients interviewed were in treatment with drugs for immune-mediated inflammatory disorders. The first administration was done by a health professional in 53.3% of the cases, 44.4% were done by themselves and 2.2% were done by a family member. Although 95.6% of the participants considered that the information given by the pharmacist was clear enough, 15.6% of them discarded the injections due to handling failures and 66.7% reported injection site reactions. Finally, 75.6% of participants believed that VR may help to learn the administration process.
Conclusion and Relevance Although the information and training provided by the pharmacist were clear enough, some patients do not feel confident with their first self-administration having to discard the medication due to some handling failures.
The VR represents a potential alternative for promoting a safe environment to improve the knowledge, skills and attitudes in SC injection self-administration through reproducing environments close to the real one.
Conflict of Interest No conflict of interest.
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