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Jyoti Khadka, Julie Ratcliffe, Gillian Caughey, Steve Wesselingh, Maria Inacio; Trends in prevalence of eye diseases, utilisation of eye health care services and medications after entering residential aged care in Australia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(8):55.
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Eye diseases and visual impairment are common in older people accessing aged care services. Once admitted into a residential aged care facility, older people are less like to have access to an eye health care service. The objective was to evaluate the burden of eye diseases, utilisation of eye health care services and ophthalmic medications among older people living in residential aged care facilities in Australia
A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted using linked national aged care and health care data form the Registry of Senior Australians; a national cohort of people who entered permanent residential aged care facilities between 2008 and 2015. The prevalence (95% confidence interval (CI)) of eye diseases by year, eye health care services and ophthalmic medication use within a year of entry into the service were evaluated. Poisson regression models were used to estimated crude and adjusted prevalence ratio (PR) to evaluate change in prevalence of eye diseases over the study period.
Of 409,186 people aged ≥65 years included in the study, 43.8% (95%CI, 43.7%-44.0%) had an eye condition. Among those 32.9% (95%CI, 32.7%-33.0%), 19.7% (95%CI, 19.6%-19.8%), 13.6% (13.5%-13.7%) and 8% (7.9%-8.1%) had a chronic eye disease, acute eye disease, glaucoma and cataract, respectively. Prevalence for any eye disease (PR: 0.99, P<0.001), chronic (PR: 0.99, P<0.001) and acute eye diseases (PR:0.97) slightly decreased over the study period but remained stable for glaucoma (PR:1.01, P<0.001) and cataract (PR:1.00, P<0.001).. Among those with any eye disease, less than half (46.5%) used at least one eye health service and more than two thirds (70.5%) used one ophthalmic medication. The most accessed eye health care service was optometric services (41.7%) and the most used ophthalmic medication was anti-infective eye drops (37.2%).
The burden of people with an eye disease accessing residential aged care service in Australia was high, however the use of eye health care services was low. Understanding the profile of older people with an eye disease in residential aged care facilities and their access to eye health care services and medications can provide evidence for appropriate resource allocation and evaluation of future eye health care needs in this population.
This is a 2021 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
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