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    Optometrists needed for trial study

    Participate in new intervention designed to improve glaucoma and diabetic eye care.

    Researcher holding a laptop

    Join the i-ACT trial study today

    Researchers at the University of New South Wales are seeking optometrists to participate in an intervention designed to improve the appropriateness of glaucoma and diabetic eyecare delivery.

    The three-month intervention includes:
    • iCareTrack Assessment of appropriateness in Clinical practice Tool (i-ACT) for self-assessment
    • Educational activities
    • Peer support groups

    This research follows the iCareTrack study, which audited practices to measure how well optometrists deliver care for diabetes and glaucoma.

    The iCareTrack study discovered that optometrists deliver care about 70% appropriately for these conditions – which compares favourably to other diseases – but pinpointed areas to improve.

    This intervention has been co-developed with both patients and practitioners to overcome these barriers to care, explains principal researcher A/Prof Isabelle Jalbert.

    “It might be a combination of factors, it might be because they have some knowledge gaps or because they have some time constraints within the practice environment where they are, or because they’ve got some motivation issues,” A/Prof Jalbert says.

    “And using implementation science, we’ve developed an intervention that we think is going to help us change what they do. And this is what this study’s about.”

    A/Prof Jalbert is now recruiting optometrists to participate in a randomised controlled trial to test the feasibility of the i-ACT.

    Optometrists will receive access to a set of tools, including the easy-to-use i-ACT self-assessment portal, peer support from other optometrists, and educational lectures worth CPD points that optometrists can access in their own time.

    “I know optometrists want to give the best care possible for their patients. And sometimes, I think they don’t always have the time or the support to make sure they do this optimally.”

    A/Prof Isabelle Jalbert

    “This will help them do this much more efficiently and quickly through this process, and do this in a much more painless fashion than having to pull it all together themselves.

    “It’s a really easy, quick way to have access to all the latest, best care indicators for the single disease that they’re enrolling for, whether that’s diabetes or glaucoma.”

    As a practicing optometrist who also teaches at UNSW, A/Prof Jalbert acknowledges how quickly the current best practice can change, and how difficult it is for experienced optometrists to stay up to date with the latest standards of care.

    A/Prof Jalbert is passionate about developing interventions like the i-ACT to help practitioners self-evaluate and improve the care they offer to patients.

    A/Prof Jalbert received an MDFA Research Grant in 2015 to survey both patients and practitioners about the enablers and barriers to effective eye care – something A/Prof Jalbert has a personal connection to.

    “My mother had both diabetes and glaucoma, and I’ve seen the devastating effect that these can have.

    “Through my MDFA Grant that I had some years ago, I spoke to so many patients with macular disease and when you do that, you never forget.

    “I spoke to them about their everyday life and what impact the disease had in their life. That had a big impact on me, to understand what eye disease is like for a patient much more than I used to.”

    How to sign up

    For eligibility criteria and details on how to participate, please visit: https://bit.ly/3qy9VjU

    Participants will receive CPD hours and a $100 Coles gift e-voucher.


    Posted: 21 February 2022

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