Usefulness of Optometric services in the Eyecare Profession: Ophthalmologists Perspective.

Mehwish Jamal, Nasir Chaudhry


Purpose: The objective of the study was to evaluate ophthalmologists' views regarding the usefulness of optometric services in the eye care profession in Pakistan.

Methods: Data was gathered by a self-designed questionnaire. All the data was entered and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS Version 20.0). A total of 105 ophthalmologists participated in this study.

Results: Eighty-one percent of ophthalmologists had the view that optometric services were useful in the eye care profession. Their services included the management of uncooperative patients, retinoscopy, cycloplegic refraction, glaucoma co-management, refraction, and diagnosis of other eye conditions. The majority of participants had a positive opinion about the behavior of optometrists with their patients, their communication, retinoscopy, skills of managing uncooperative patients and cycloplegic skills respectively. Ninety percent of ophthalmologists agreed that the role of optometrists was very important in achieving goals of vision 2020. Mixed responses were obtained for their contact lens practices.  Most of them were neutral about the diagnostic skills of optometrists. Above 60% of participants replied that optometrists had good glaucoma referrals. According to the ophthalmologists' perspective, there was a need for enhancement in clinical skills. Ninety percent of participants agreed that optometrists were an integral part of an eye care team and they felt difficulty in managing OPD’s and patients in the absence of optometrists.

Conclusions: Ophthalmologists considered different optometric services, very useful for the community and eye care profession. The study showed that optometrists were performing their duties very well. Optometrists provide high-quality services that were greatly accepted and appreciated by patients, health professionals, and the community.        

Key Words: optometrists, ophthalmologists, perspective, usefulness, services, Enhanced services scheme (ESS).

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