Dr Isabelle Jalbert, OD, MPH, PhD, is Deputy Head of the UNSW Australia School of Optometry and Vision Science, the largest optometry school in Australia. She is internationally recognised as an expert in research into evidence based optometry practice, with a strong record of leading multidisciplinary research.
In 2015 Dr Jalbert was awarded a Blackmores Macular Disease Foundation Australia Research Grant for $100,000 over two years.
Dr Jalbert's research is entitled 'Eye care practitioners' and patients' perspectives on age-related macular degeneration; identifying barriers and facilitators to optimal age-related macular degeneration care'.
This project proposes to explore the views, knowledge, attitudes and practices of eye care practitioners and people with age-related macular degeneration and their carers. Modifiable factors such as smoking and lifestyle (e.g. high glycemic index diet or low intake of antioxidants) have been shown to increase the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and the speed at which the disease progresses. Based on these, clear, evidence-based recommendations for people with or at risk of age-related macular degeneration have existed for some time. Yet, self-reported practices suggest that eye care practitioners' advice and adherence to these recommendations in people with age-related macular degeneration can be very poor.
This project will identify the barriers and facilitators for optimal care as well as knowledge and understanding about various issues including diet, supplementation and lifestyle modifications. This project will identify areas where targeted health interventions should be planned in the future.