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Article
January 1995

Variation in Ophthalmic Testing Prior to Cataract SurgeryResults of a National Survey of Optometrists

Arch Ophthalmol. 1995;113(1):27-31. doi:10.1001/archopht.1995.01100010029018
Abstract

Objective:  To assess variation in optometrists' use of ophthalmic tests in the evaluation of patients being considered for cataract surgery who have no history of other eye disease.

Design/Participants:  National survey of a systematic sample of practicing members of the American Optometric Association (St Louis, Mo), who had referred at least one patient to an ophthalmologist for consideration of cataract surgery in 1991.

Results:  Ninety-two of 130 eligible responding optometrists reported that they routinely performed preoperative testing on patients being considered for cataract surgery. Of these 92 optometrists, 91 (99%) frequently or always performed refraction, and 82 (89%) frequently or always performed a dilated fundus examination in their evaluation of patients being considered for cataract surgery who had no history of other eye disease. None of these 92 optometrists reported using B-scan ultrasonography or electroretinograms frequently or always, and few used A-scan ultrasonography or visual evoked responses frequently or always. A substantial percentage frequently or always used formal visual field testing (47%), formal color vision testing (40%), fundus photography (24%), potential acuity measurement (25%), glare testing (23%), contrast sensitivity testing (19%), and specular microscopy (14%), while 11% to 81% of optometrists never performed these tests on such patients. More recent graduation from optometry school was associated with a decreased frequency of use of potential acuity measurement and contrast sensitivity testing and with an increased use of dilated fundus examinations.

Conclusion:  There is a substantial variation in optometrists' self-reported use of a number of ophthalmic tests in the preoperative evaluation of patients being considered for cataract surgery who have no history of other eye disease.

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