American Optometric Association's Clinical Practice Guideline Receives National Recognition
Deirdre Middleton, 703.837.1347
The American Optometric Association's (AOA) second evidence-based clinical practice guideline, Comprehensive Adult Eye and Vision Examination, is now posted to the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC).
A database of clinical guidelines, the NGC is maintained by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Guidelines must meet stringent standards to be accepted, and must provide robust evidence-based recommendations or action plans for patient care. Posting to the clearinghouse means the adult eye and vision examination guideline is publicly available for other health care professionals, institutions and agencies to reference with knowledge that it has met NGC standards, said Diane Adamczyk, O.D., chair of the AOA Evidence-Based Optometry (EBO) Committee, which released the guideline in September 2015. "The rigorous process of developing this guideline has now met the high standards of the National Guideline Clearinghouse, which, like AOA's 'Eye Care of the Patient with Diabetes Mellitus,' is a testament to the exacting work by the guideline's authors," Dr. Adamczyk said.
What the adult eye and vision examination guideline offers
Revised standards from the Institute of Medicine in 2011 called for new clinical guidelines to adhere to a stringent evidence-based approach to development. The AOA's news guideline included a cross-disciplinary review from top eye and vision care experts, and hundreds of scientific papers and studies over the course of two years.
The 51-page guideline is a pertinent resource for optometrists; eye and vision disorders have broad implications in health care because of their potential for negatively impacting activities of daily living resulting in decreased quality of life. They are associated with loss of independence and difficulty maintaining employment. Many eye and vision disorders are chronic conditions that can affect individuals for their entire lives. The burden of these conditions is projected to continue to increase as the aging population expands.
Doctors also can use the Comprehensive Adult Eye and Vision Examination Quick Reference Guide, a summary version of the guideline in a condensed, seven-page format for easy access. View the guideline here.