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S.B. Barone, K. Narayana, P. Latkany, S. Schwartzman, C.M. Samson; Survey on the Knowledge of Immunosuppressive Agents for Uveitis Among Non–Uveitis Specialists . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(13):2847.
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Purpose: To evaluate the knowledge of non–uveitis specialist ophthalmologists, regarding their knowledge on the indications, safety and role of immunosuppressive therapy in uveitis Methods:Ophthalmologists practicing in the New York and Baltimore greater metropolitan areas were presented with a 13–question survey. Participation in the survey was voluntary and the identity of the participants was kept anonymous. Results: Fifty–one participants, practicing for an average of 15.6 years (range 2–43 years) responded. Seventy–eight percent of respondents were subspecialty fellowship trained; 86.3% were practicing full–time. Fifty–three percent were doing comprehensive practice with or without additional specialty practice. The average number of uveitis patients treated by respondents in a 3–month period was 11 (range 0–100), with 11 being the average number of patients per year referred for specialist care (range 0–100). Respondents recognized the more traditional immunosuppressive agents (Methotrexate 94%, cyclosporine 90%, and azathioprine 75%). Confidence about the indication for any immunosuppressive agent was 2.7 (scale of 1 to 5) and only 2.2 for knowledge about drug toxicity. Fifty–five percent of respondents reported that unresponsiveness to steroid therapy and steroid–sparing–effect were the indications for using such agents. Twenty percent of respondents were not sure of the indication for using these medications. Nine (17.6%) were not sure or did not believe that immunosuppressive therapy was the standard of care for the treatment of severe uveitis. Conclusions: The knowledge level regarding the use of immunosuppressive agent for uveitis is varied among ophthalmologists. There is a need to improve ophthalmologists' understanding of the indications and safety profile of these vision saving medications.
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