(HealthDay News) — Incorporating functional results into assessments may improve the accuracy of optometrists’ diagnosis of glaucoma following a training intervention, according to a study published online Oct. 2 in Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics.
Nayuta Yoshioka, from UNSW Australia in Sydney, and colleagues tested whether a glaucoma training course affects diagnostic accuracy of 54 optometrists’ performance on six glaucoma diagnostic assessment modules. The training course included different clinical examination techniques, such as optic nerve head (ONH) photography, visual field tests, and adjunct imaging.
The researchers found that there were high false-negative rates with optic nerve head photography, which were drastically reduced with the addition of visual field, although at the cost of increased false-positive rates. The increase in the false-positive rate from the visual field was partially compensated for with the addition of adjunct imaging techniques, which had limited effect on false-negative rates. There was larger improvement in the diagnostic ability when multiple imaging modalities were provided following the educational intervention.
“The study highlighted the importance of combining both structural and functional assessments in glaucoma,” the authors write.