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Kirsten Midgley, Michael Summerfield; Primary care physicians' recall of diagnostic and treatment qualities of glaucoma: effect of an educational program. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):6157. doi: https://doi.org/.
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Early intervention in glaucoma has been found to be clinically beneficial and cost effective. Primary care physicians are imperative for participating in continuity of care, identifying at-risk patients, and monitoring adverse effects of those patients being treated, thereby encouraging adherence to medical treatment. A recent study (Rothshtein et al. 2015) showed a significant gap between primary care physicians' level of agreement with their roles in glaucoma disease managment and the frequency of reported performance. Study participants relayed that glaucoma-related knowledge gaps, especially in relation to treatment’s adverse effects, are major barriers to their performance in glaucoma care. Few studies have attempted improvement in primary-care focused glaucoma principles. The purpose of this study is to educate internists about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment for screening at-risk and optimizing currently affected glaucoma patients, and then to measure outcomes of an educational program by pre and post-intervention exam results.
A 30 minute slide-narration educational program, which covered differences between angle closure and open angle glaucoma, diagnostic criteria, risk factors, treatments, and local and systemic side effects of glaucoma medications, was lectured. 15 internal medicine residents and 2 primary-care focused internists were given a seven question multiple-choice exam before and after the intervention. These individually distinct tests focused on signs/symptoms, diagnosis, risk factors, treatments, and local and systemic medication side effects.
Following the intervention, residents and staff showed improved accuracy on the quizzes (-0.23 to -0.05, p=0.004).
A brief and applicable educational intervention can result in meaningful improvement in primary care physician knowledge of a common and vision-threatening disease. These encouraging results will be adapted to formulate additional lectures on other primary-care pertinent ophthalmic topics.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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