Evidenced Based Optometry

A pioneer of evidence-based practice defines it as . . .

"the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient. It means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research." (Sackett D, 1996)¹

The Institute of Medicine (IOM), at the request of the U.S. Congress in 2008, was asked to undertake a study on the best methods for the development of trustworthy clinical practice guidelines. These methods would address the structure, process, reporting, and final products of systematic reviews of comparative effectiveness research and evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.  

In March 2011, through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), two reports were released by the IOM, Clinical Practice Guidelines We Can Trust²  and Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews³.  These two reports, and the standards contained therein, have changed the face of clinical practice guideline development for all facets of healthcare.   

In 2010, in anticipation of these changes, a sub-group of the AOA Quality Improvement Committee was asked to investigate and initiate an evidence-based guideline development pilot project.  Due to the importance and magnitude of this work, the AOA Board of Trustees appointed Evidence-Based Optometry (EBO) as a stand-alone committee in 2012.

The EBO Committee has worked diligently to create an evidence-based process that aligns with the IOM standards and keeps optometrists in the forefront of evidence-based practice. 

To view the final copy of Eye Care of the Patient with Diabetes Mellitus, please click here


David L. Sackett, MD, MSc Professor Emeritus, Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, McMaster University
Institute of Medicine. Clinical Practice Guidelines We Can Trust. 2011. Washington D.C: The National Academies Press.
Institute of Medicine. Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews. 2011. Washington D.C: The National Academies Press.