From papers to patients: the value of translational research

5 May 2023
Spring 2023

Research, including work carried out in high-street optometry practices, is driving innovation in clinical practice and at a policy level, writes Mark Gould.

Years of historic underfunding in eye health and systemic barriers to gathering vital patient data “mean there is tremendous potential for optometrists to do more research, including practice-based and translational research”, says Michael Bowen, Director of Research at the College. He is responding to a recent report that reveals that despite such hurdles, optometry and vision science research is “thriving”, with “world-leading activity [in many areas], ranging from the global prevalence of eye disease through to hypothesis-rich psychophysical investigations of visual function” (Research Excellence Fund (REF), 2022).

The report, by the REF (see What is the REF? overleaf), assessed the quality and impact of UK higher education research in the six years to 2021, and will influence future research funding.

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Related further reading

The College’s Research Excellence Awards recognise achievements in optometric research, and the way in which they enrich the whole profession.

The General Optical Council (GOC) has launched its consultation on revised Standards of Practice for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians, Standards for Optical Students and Standards for Optical Businesses.

There is still time to register for the College of Optometrists’ flagship event, Optometry Tomorrow.