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Original article

A national survey to assess the prevalence of written guidance for occlusion and practice variation in the treatment of amblyopia

Author:

Sue Elliot

Ophthalmology Department, Salisbury Health Care NHS Trust, Salisbury SP2 8BJ, GB
About Sue

MSc, BSc (Hons)

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Abstract

Aim: To assess the prevalence of written clinical guidance for occlusion treatment and variation in occlusion practice within orthoptic departments in the United Kingdom (UK).

Method: A questionnaire was sent to every orthoptic department in the UK. Questions asked about the existence of written guidance in departments and how this guidance had been developed. Subsequent ques­tions asked about the treatment of amblyopia. Clinical scenarios of amblyopia were provided and departments had to indicate the occlusion in hours that would be prescribed.

Results: One hundred and ninety of 240 question­naires were returned, a response rate of 72%. One hundred and eighty-six questionnaires were suitable for analysis. Sixty-six of 186 (35%) responding departments had written guidance for occlusion, 70 (38%) had some general department consensus on occlusion, 47 (25%) had no departmental consensus on occlusion and 3 (2%) declined to answer. Statistical analysis indicated there were significant differences between departments ‘with guidance’ and those ‘without guidance’ in the amount of occlusion prescribed if treating more severe amblyopia (6/60 vision). There were no significant differences in occlusion prescribed for less severe amblyopia (6/12 vision).

Conclusion: In the responding departments the prevalence of written guidance for occlusion treat­ment was low and there were significant variations in the amount of occlusion that would be prescribed. It is essential to have good-quality, robust evidence on which to base clinical decisions.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22599/bioj.186
How to Cite: Elliot, S., 2005. A national survey to assess the prevalence of written guidance for occlusion and practice variation in the treatment of amblyopia. British and Irish Orthoptic Journal, 2, pp.26–31. DOI: http://doi.org/10.22599/bioj.186
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Published on 01 Jan 2005.
Peer Reviewed

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