A qualitative exploration of Australian eyecare professional perspectives on Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) care

Isabelle Jalbert*, Dian Rahardjo, Aryati Yashadhana, Gerald Liew, Bamini Gopinath

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Despite the existence of evidence-based recommendations to decrease risk and progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) for some time, self-reported practices suggest that eyecare professionals’ advice and people with AMD’s adherence to these recommendations can be very poor. This study uses qualitative methods to explore Australian eyecare professionals’ perspective on barriers to effective AMD care. Seven focus groups involving 65 optometrists were conducted by an experienced facilitator. A nominal group technique was used to identify, prioritize and semi-quantify barriers and enablers to AMD care. Participants individually ranked their perceived top five barriers and enablers with the most important granted a score of 5 and the least important a score of 1. For each barrier or enabler, the number of votes it received and its total score were recorded. Barriers and enablers selected by at least one participant in their top 5 were then qualitatively analysed, grouped using thematic analysis and total score calculated for each consolidated barrier or enabler. In-depth individual interviews were conducted with 10 ophthalmologists and 2 optometrists. Contributions were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed with NVivo software. One hundred and sixty-nine barriers and 51 enablers to AMD care were identified in the focus groups. Of these, 102 barriers and 42 enablers were selected as one of their top 5 by at least one participant and further consolidated into 16 barriers and 10 enablers after thematic analysis. Factors impacting AMD care identified through analysis of the transcripts were coded to three categories of influence: patient-centered, practitioner-centered, and structural factors. Eyecare professionals considered poor care pathways, people with AMD’s poor disease understanding / denial, and cost of care / lack of funding, as the most significant barriers to AMD care; they considered shared care model, access, and communication as the most significant enablers to good AMD care. These findings suggest that Australian eyecare professionals perceive that there is a need for improved patient support systems and appropriately funded, clearer care pathway to benefit people with AMD.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0228858
Number of pages22
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

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Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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