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Optometry

Study reveals gap in optometrists’ approach to managing dry eye disease

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Although optometrists are aware of the significant impact of dry eye disease on their patients’ daily lives, they often fail to incorporate this understanding into their patient management strategies, according to a study that highlights the need for a more patient-centered approach to managing dry eye disease, which involves not only treating the physical symptoms but also addressing the broader impact on patients’ well-being.

Conducted in the Netherlands, the study employed 12 online interviews with optometrists specializing in second-line eye care. Through a convenience sample, researchers explored optometrists’ awareness of the negative impact of dry eye disease on patients’ lives and their management approaches during consultations.

The findings revealed a trend: few optometrists actively inquired about patients’ perceived burden, and many did not discuss all available treatment options or offer practical advice that could alleviate symptoms. Furthermore, a significant portion of optometrists seemed unaware of potential assistance from other healthcare providers beyond their own scope.

While Dutch optometrists acknowledged the impact of dry eye disease on their patients’ lives, the study suggests a discrepancy between this awareness and its integration into their management plans.

Reference
Mathan ZMJ, van Tilborg MMA. Optometrists need to incorporate their understanding of the impact of dry eye disease in their patient management. Optom Vis Sci. 2024 Jan;101(1):55-61. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000002077. PMID: 38350058.

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