Ally Xue is a doctoral candidate at the University of Auckland's Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.
Download the poster (.pdf), which was originally shared at TFOS, 2016.
An inter-disciplinary comparison of the self-reported dry eye practices of New Zealand eye care clinicians
Ally Xue1, Laura E Downie2, Jennifer P Craig1
1Department of Ophthalmology, University of Auckland, New Zealand;
2Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia.
The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the self-reported clinical practices of New Zealand optometrists and ophthalmologists with respect to the diagnosis and management of dry eye disease (DED) and to compare these behaviours with the current research evidence base.
An anonymous online survey was distributed to New Zealand eye care clinicians (optometrists n=614, ophthalmologists n=113), seeking information about practitioners’ interest in DED, practice experience, practice modality, preferred diagnostic and management strategies and information/evidence base used to guide patient care.
The prospective, cross-sectional survey showed similarly strong knowledge of tear film assessment in respondents from both professions (response rates, optometrists: 26%, ophthalmologist: 26%). Ninety percent of respondents ranked patient symptoms and meibomian gland evaluation as the most valuable and common diagnostic approaches. However, standardised grading scales and validated dry eye questionnaires were infrequently adopted. Most respondents considered eyelid hygiene and non-preserved lubricants as the mainstay therapies, nevertheless dry eye management was tailored to disease severity. Increased oral omega-3 fatty acids intake, topical corticosteroids and systemic tetracyclines were more frequently recommended by optometrists and ophthalmologists for moderate and severe dry eye. Continuing education conferences were the primary source of information used to guide DED practices by both professions.
Consistent with evidence-based guidelines, New Zealand eye care professionals use both subjective and objective techniques to diagnose DED and stratify management according to disease severity. This study identifies potential to further improve the dissemination of research evidence relating to clinical best-practice for DED, potentially through mechanisms focussed upon continuing education conferences.