Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics (OPO)

OPO - a leading international journal for contemporary research in vision science and optometry

OPO is the research journal of The College of Optometrists. It is read and cited around the world, and helps clinicians and educators stay up to date with the latest research findings on the development, use and restoration of vision.

What's in the latest issue of OPO?

OPO is published six times a year. Here are some highlights from the May 2022 issue of OPO

Is patient identification of 'comfortable' print size a useful clinical parameter for low vision reading assessment?

Latham and Macnaughton (2022)

The purpose of this study was to determine what a person with vision loss considers a ‘comfortable’ print size to read, and to examine whether this reflects any of three currently used parameters for identifying print size required for sustained reading tasks. The authors found that patient identification of print that is ‘comfortable’ to read provides a good estimate of the smallest print that can be read at maximum speed (critical print size, CPS). Comfortable print size can be used in determining magnification requirements for functional or sustained reading tasks, and may be particularly valuable in remote consultations. The difference between CPS and reading acuity (acuity reserve) was 1.74:1; lower than seen in other studies.


Scope of practice of optometrists working in the UK Hospital Eye Service: Second national survey

Gunn et al. (2022)

The authors responded to the pressing need to re-evaluate the current scope of practice of hospital optometrists working within secondary care in the UK that is due to the changing landscape in ophthalmology and related commissioning. They found that optometric scope of practice in the Hospital Eye Service continues to expand in the number of departments, optometrists undertaking extended roles, and in the variety of sub-specialties. The survey identified an increase in the use of independent prescribing and the number of optometrists delivering laser interventions when comparing UK national survey findings in 2015 and 2020. The evolving scope of practice of optometrists continues to enhance the secondary care ophthalmology workforce, as required to help capacity meet demand, and alongside wider pathway changes in primary care.

Investigating target refraction advice provided to cataract surgery patients by UK optometrists and ophthalmologists

Charlesworth et al. (2022)

This investigation aimed to determine whether UK optometrists and ophthalmologists provide target refraction advice to patients prior to cataract surgery, and when this should first be discussed. Clinicians were asked to complete a survey including two clinical vignettes (both older patients with cataract; a pre-operative myope who routinely read without glasses and a patient using a monovision approach), plus additional questions. The researchers found that many experienced optometrists reported long-term myopic patients were dissatisfied with a target refraction of emmetropia due to the need to wear reading glasses following cataract surgery. Less experienced optometrists discussed target refraction much less with cataract surgery patients, suggesting this needs further exposure in university education and continuing professional development. The inclusion of initial target refraction discussions by optometrists within funded direct referral schemes seem to be a useful step forward.

Identification and critical appraisal of evidence for interventions for refractive error to support the development of the WHO package of eye care interventions: A systematic review of clinical practice guidelines

Evans et al. (2022)

The World Health Organization is developing a Package of Eye Care Interventions (PECI) to support the integration of eye health care into national health programmes. The aim of this study was to provide high-quality evidence to support the development of the PECI by identifying and critically appraising clinical practice guidelines (CPGs), and extracting recommendations for refractive error interventions. The authors’ recommendations from 12 high-quality CPGs on refractive error provide evidence to support the development of PECI. CPGs applicable to a broader range of settings are required, and these guidelines need to be regularly updated to support effective and equitable delivery of eye health care.


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College members can access full issues of OPO, browse previous articles, and search for a particular topic or keyword on the publisher’s website, Wiley Online Library (WOL).

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OPO is now available for members to access on the new WOL app using their College login. The app is available in iOS and Android formats.

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