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Agreement in dry eye management between optometrists and general practitioners in primary health care in the Netherlands

Van Tilborg, Maria, Murphy, Paul J. and Evans, Katharine S. E. 2015. Agreement in dry eye management between optometrists and general practitioners in primary health care in the Netherlands. Contact Lens and Anterior Eye 38 (4) , pp. 283-293. 10.1016/j.clae.2015.03.005

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Purpose To investigate the agreement in dry eye care management between general practitioners (GPs) and optometrists in the Netherlands. Methods A web-based survey was used to investigate the agreement in symptoms associated with dry eye, causes of developing dry eye, and investigative techniques used in practice, between GPs and optometrists. Additional questions surveyed knowledge of the latest research, and co-management of dry eye disease in primary healthcare. The anonymised questionnaire contained 16 forced-choice questions with Likert scales, and was sent to 1471 general medical practitioners and 870 registered optometrists. The response data was stored on an online database, and was converted directly to text format for analysis using SPSS 21 statistical analysis software. Results 138 optometrists and 93 GPs responded to the survey (Cronbach α = 0.885, optometrists, and 0.833, GPs). Almost no agreement was found for all the questions: a statistically significant difference (Chi-square p < 0.0001) was found between the optometrists and GPs in the use of investigative techniques, associating symptoms, causes of dry eye (p > 0.0001), and dry eye symptoms, except for ‘burning sensation of the eye’ and ‘irritation of the eye’ as agreed symptoms, and agreement that dry eye is an age-related disease. Conclusions As the optometrist and the GP are the gatekeepers for secondary healthcare, the fundamental differences in the methods of investigation and interpretation of dry eye-related symptoms, the possible cause of developing dry eye disease, and the therapy given by GPs and optometrists in the Netherlands, may have a significant impact on consistency of patient care.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Optometry and Vision Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dry eye disease; Optometric care; GPs’; Primary healthcare; Investigation techniques; Co-management
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1367-0484
Date of Acceptance: 9 March 2015
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2017 09:33

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