Optometrists underutilized in management of dry eye
Ophthalmic prescribing by optometrists is increasing but they are often underutilized in the management of dry eye, according to a study analyzing prescribing activity by community optometrists in Scotland.
In this study, non-medical prescribing practices by optometrists over a 53-month period were analyzed. Over the course of the study, 205 optometrists prescribed 54,246 items. Researchers noted that there was a steady increase in prescribing activity by optometrists, starting with a baseline of zero and increasing to 1.2% of ophthalmic items prescribed.
A reduction in ophthalmology outpatient appointments was not found to be associated with how many items were prescribed by optometrists each month or the size of the optometric workforce.
Jonuscheit S, Geue C, Laidlaw R, et al. Towards transforming community eye care: an observational study and time-series analysis of optometrists’ prescribing for eye disorders. Public Health. 2021;196:107-113. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2021.04.029. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34182255.