Undertaking practice-based research in optometry (C-100416)

CPD
1
20 December 2021
Volume 22, Issue 4

This article provides a background to practice-based research in optometry.

Domains covered

Professionalism Specialty contact lens opticians Specialty CPD (IP)

As with other healthcare professions, optometric practice is based on rigorous, methodologically sound and ethical science. General Optical Council Standards require optometrists to apply relevant research developments to their clinical practice. However, clinicians are not limited to reviewing and applying published evidence; optometrists are well placed to contribute to the evidence base by participating in, or conducting their own, practice-based research. This article provides a background to practice-based research, beginning with the different types of study and the hierarchical classification of research evidence, before moving on to describe the various stages of a research project. Developing the research question, design of the study, implementation (including ethics) and analysis are discussed, with emphasis on how these aspects may be undertaken by optometrists alongside their clinical work.

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Related further reading

Here we summarise three research papers from a recent issue of Optometry in Practice.

Kathy Oxtoby looks at what qualitative research adds to clinical evidence and how it provides human insights that can’t be measured in numbers.

New research has found links between the severity of visual impairment and the risk of dementia. Kathy Oxtoby asks: how can optometrists play a greater role in supporting patients with these conditions?