29 May 2024

NIHR portal now hosts optometry research modules

We have partnered with Ulster University to develop a series of learning modules to support optometrists who want to undertake research, from developing their understanding of research to acquiring the necessary skills.

The Getting Started in Optometric Research modules have been produced as part of a National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) funded project.

The first learning materials on the NIHR's platform written specifically for optometrists, these new resources will support optometrists in developing their understanding of research and in acquiring research skills.

Theses nine modules are available on the NIHR's platform and each takes around 60 minutes to complete. They can either be followed from start to finish to form a complete 'course', or taken individually to provide bespoke support, depending on an individual’s interests, and learning needs.

The nine research modules

  • Introduction to research
  • What is research and where do I find it?
  • Evaluating the method
  • Demystifying the data
  • Statistical methods: what, when and why?
  • What data are clinically important to my practice?
  • The importance of research in everyday practice
  • Implementing evidence-based eye care
  • Getting involved in research

Mike Bowen

Director of Research and Knowledge at The College of Optometrists

“NIHR's online learning platform hosts a huge number of learning resources, for a wide range of clinical professions. The modules that Ulster and The College have developed are the first learning materials on the platform that have specifically been developed for optometrists, so represent an important moment for the profession in becoming more visible within this important set of electronic resources for clinicians.

"The modules provide optometrists with the opportunities to refresh and extend their knowledge and to understand research better. From how to read and interpret scientific papers and correctly interpret results, to potentially using outcomes from research to inform clinical practice or gather data in clinical settings at work.

"Researchers within science and all areas of medicine are pivotal to the progression of healthcare. It is vital that optometrists are part of that network and are enabled and supported to contribute to clinical research in the UK. These modules represent an opportunity for individual optometrists to extend their skills in this area. By bringing additional resource and unique skills to UK research and development, UK optometrists will bring great benefits to patients across the four nations and worldwide.”

Professor Julie-Anne Little

Ulster University

“We are passionate about the value of eyecare research in contributing knowledge and developing our profession of optometry. We have aimed these bite-sized modules for working optometrists to gain confidence in understanding research; whether they want to get involved in research or deepen their understanding of how to interpret evidence for their clinical practice, and gain CPD points along the way.”

Optometrists interested in taking advantage of the new modules will need to create a personal login to the NIHR portal. Access can also be gained via the College website.

Wherever possible, CPD accreditation has been sought for the modules, and details of this is shown for each.

More about research

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