Aims: To determine what practising orthoptists consider to be a normal AC/A ratio and on what evidence this is based. To assess which method of measurement is most commonly used and whether the ratio itself contributes to the diagnosis and management of strabismus in current practice.
Methods: A prospective cross-sectional survey was designed and distributed to all orthoptists registered with the British and Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS). The survey was web-based and consisted of 17 questions relating to the measurement of the accommodative convergence/accommodation (AC/A) ratio and its application to clinical practice. Prior to the survey being distributed nationally, a pilot survey was sent to a small group of practising orthoptists for validation.
Results: There was a significant difference ( p < 0.05) in orthoptists’ perception of the normal AC/A ratio (gradient and heterophoria) compared with published research. Ninety-three per cent stated that their definition of ‘normal’ was based on either clinical experience or what they were taught during training, with the gradient method at 33 cm being most commonly used (92.79%). The AC/A ratio is widely used (either ‘always’ or ‘sometimes’) in the diagnosis of convergence excess esotropia (CXS) (97.26%) and intermittent distance exotropia (IDEX) (93.75%) and (either ‘always’ or ‘sometimes’) in the management of CXS (88.89%) and IDEX (79.02%).
Conclusion: The majority of orthoptists who participated are primarily measuring the stimulus AC/A ratio clinically. There is a discrepancy between participants’ perception of a normal AC/A ratio and published research, yet the ratio is still used in the diagnosis and management of certain types of strabismus.
How to Cite:
Murray, C. and Newsham, D., 2014. Survey of British and Irish orthoptists in the measurement of the AC/A ratio. British and Irish Orthoptic Journal, 11, pp.20–27. DOI: http://doi.org/10.22599/bioj.81