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Impact of optical coherence tomography on diagnostic decision-making by UK community optometrists: a clinical vignette study.

Jindal, A., Ctori, I. ORCID: 0000-0003-1523-4996, Fidalgo, B. , Dabasia, P., Balaskas, K. & Lawrenson, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-2031-6390 (2019). Impact of optical coherence tomography on diagnostic decision-making by UK community optometrists: a clinical vignette study.. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 39(3), pp. 205-215. doi: 10.1111/opo.12613


PURPOSE: In recent years, there has been widespread investment in imaging technologies by community optometrists in the UK, most notably optical coherence tomography (OCT). The aim of the current study was to determine the value of OCT in the diagnosis of posterior segment diseases in a representative sample of community optometrists using a clinical vignette methodology.

METHODS: A group of community optometrists (n = 50) initially completed a standardised training package on OCT interpretation followed by a computer-based assessment featuring 52 clinical vignettes, containing images of healthy (n = 8) or glaucomatous (n = 18) discs or healthy (n = 8) or diseased (n = 18) fundi. Each vignette featured either a single fundus/disc photographic image, or a combination of a fundus/disc image with the corresponding OCT scan. An expert panel confirmed that the fundus images presented alone and those in combination with OCT data were of a similar level of difficulty and that the cases were typical of those seen in primary care. For each case, the optometrist selected their diagnosis from a pull-down list and reported their confidence in their decision using a 10-point Likert scale. Pairwise comparisons of the fundus image alone and fundus image/OCT combination were made for both diagnostic performance and confidence.

RESULTS: The mean percentage of correct diagnoses using fundus imaging alone was 62% (95% CI 59-64%) and for the combination of fundus image/OCT was 80% (95% CI 77-82%). The mean false negative rate with fundus alone was 27% reducing to 13% with the OCT combination. Median confidence scores for fundus imaging alone was 8.0 (IQR 7.0-8.0) and 8.3 (IQR 8.0-9.0) for the combination. Improvements in performance and confidence were statistically significant (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: The results from this vignette study suggests that OCT improves optometrists' diagnostic performance compared to fundus observation alone. These initial results suggest that OCT provides valuable additional data that could augment case-finding for glaucoma and retinal disease; however, further research is needed to assess its diagnostic performance in a routine clinical practice setting.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 The Authors. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of College of Optometrists. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: glaucoma, optic nerve, optical coherence tomography, optometrists, retina
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
SWORD Depositor:
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