Quick-reference guide now available for diabetes care

A new quick-reference guide (QRG) offers a summary version of the AOA's first evidence-based clinical practice guideline on diabetes in a condensed, nine-page format that makes it easy for practitioners to confer.

"It's a go-to reference document for the clinicians, in particular."

"Eye Care of the Patient with Diabetes Mellitus," the milestone guideline released in February 2014 from the AOA Evidence-Based Optometry Committee, offers optometrists approved, research-backed guidance to assist in patient care decisions and reaffirms optometry's role in the multidisciplinary approach to managing diabetes.

As the health care industry expands care for an ever-growing number of patients with diabetes, optometrists are poised to take an increasingly active role in their patients' diabetes management. The comprehensive, 83-page guideline offers optometric care options for practitioners to better serve their patients, and the new diabetes QRG augments the AOA's other diabetes tools and resources.

The diabetes QRG allows a quick review of the full guideline for key patient management information. The guides are just that—a guide, not meant to supplant the full guideline, but enhance its usefulness in clinical decision making.

In addition to the full description of diabetes mellitus, risk factors, prevention and diagnostic criteria, the diabetes QRG includes:

  • Discussion of diabetic retinal disease;
  • Non-retinal ocular complications;
  • Diagnosis of ocular complications from diabetes;
  • Suggestions on an ocular examination schedule;
  • Proper treatment and management of the disease;
  • Management of systemic complications and comorbidities of diabetes; and,
  • Management of patients with vision impairment resulting from diabetes


Diane Adamczyk, O.D., chair of the AOA Evidence-Based Optometry Committee, says the guideline represents a tremendous step that has put optometry ahead of other professions with regard to adopting the new evidence-based process, as delineated by the Institute of Medicine in 2011.

"This guideline is so critically important on so many levels, to the patient, the practitioner, our work with other health care professionals and our standing within the health care community. There are so many facets that are important," Dr. Adamczyk says. "We should be proud of this guideline."

As with the other QRGs for AOA Optometric Clinical Practice Guidelines, the diabetes QRG touches on the salient points and is to be used in conjunction with the full guideline.

"The hope is that optometrists will refer to and look at the guideline, because it's a living document," Dr. Adamczyk says. "It's a go-to reference document for the clinicians, in particular."

May 9, 2014

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