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Jaymeni Patel, Christina Morettin, Heather McLeod, Elizabeth Wyles, Navjit Sanghera, Valerie Kattouf, Harneet Randhawa, Michael Chaglasian, Leonard Messner; Patient experience of tele-optometry in the comprehensive eye examination; a pilot study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):1596.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Continued advancement in technology in healthcare is bringing the option of tele-optometry to the comprehensive eye examination. This study aims to evaluate if the tele-optometric exam experience is non-inferior to the traditional in-person comprehensive eye exam via post examination satisfaction surveys.
A cohort of 30 students participated in the study, excluding those with active ocular disease or recent ocular surgery. The tele-optometric comprehensive eye exam was completed by an in-person technician via DigitalOptometrics™ platform and videoconferencing with an investigator optometrist. This was followed by the Gold standard in-person comprehensive eye exam by an investigator optometrist. 2 masked clinicians independently reviewed the exam findings and determined if the exams were equivalent in various categories. A satisfaction survey was provided at the conclusion of each exam. Meta-analysis of results was completed via Fisher's method.
100% of participants believed the in-person exam addressed their concerns, were satisfied with the care they received, and rated exam quality positively. Of note, 96.67% believed the tele-optometric exam addressed their concerns while the remaining 3.33% were neutral. 80% of tele-optometric participants were satisfied with their care, while 20% were neutral and 0% dissatisfied. 73.3% rated the quality of the exam as positive, 23.3% neutral and 3.3% negative. As neutral was not a discriminating factor for positive or negative experiences, neutral responses were omitted from statistical calculations. Using Fisher analysis, p = ~1 for all three questions in table 1. Preliminary analysis indicates no statistically significant difference between the 2 exams based on concerns addressed, satisfaction and quality of exam given p > 0.05. Within the limits of our pilot, the results support the null hypothesis of non-inferiority.
With the increase in digital exposure across professions to meet the needs of consumers, tele-optometry will likely continue to be adopted not only for disease management in rural areas, but also for comprehensive eye examinations. Our data suggests that initial experiences for patients were positive or comparative to that of an in-person gold standard comprehensive eye examination supporting our hypothesis.
This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
Table 1: post in-person and tele-optometry exam survey results
Table 2: post-study survey results
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