Referral behaviour among optometrists: Increase in the number of referrals from optometrists

1 February 2010
Volume 11, Issue 1

A review of the implementation of NICE guidelines for the diagnosis and management of chronic open-angle glaucoma (COAG) and ocular hypertension (OHT) in England and Wales.

Introduction

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for the diagnosis and management of chronic open-angle glaucoma (COAG) and ocular hypertension (OHT) in England and Wales were issued on 22 April 2009 (NICE 2009). In response to these guidelines, the Association of Optometrists (AOP), Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) and Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians (FODO) subsequently issued guidance (AOP: April 2009 and reiterated in June and October 2009) advising optometrists to refer intraocular pressures (IOPs) exceeding 21mmHg to an ophthalmologist, even if optic nerve heads and visual fields appeared normal. This advice related to IOPs recorded on any reliable and consistent tonometer and not just to Goldmann applanation tonometry. 

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