A survey of ocular therapeutic pharmaceutical agents in optometric practice

Schmid, Katrina L., Schmid, Leisa M., Swann, Peter G., & Hartley, Leo (2000) A survey of ocular therapeutic pharmaceutical agents in optometric practice. Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 83(1), pp. 16-31.


In all Australian states optometrists are permitted to use diagnostic topical ocular drugs in the practice of their profession. In addition, legislation has just been passed in Victoria allowing optometrists to prescribe topical S4 medications for ocular conditions. Changing optometric legislation to incorporate S4 ophthalmic agents is a topical issue within optometry. METHODS: By postal survey, we asked Queensland optometrists to gauge their level of education, current mode of practice and whether they were in favour of gaining access to prescription-only therapeutic medications. Their opinions on the education requirements, perceived potential public benefits and the possible barriers to optometrists gaining prescribing rights to therapeutic agents were also investigated. RESULTS: A 45 per cent response rate to the survey (231 responses out of 517) was obtained. The majority of respondents (88 per cent) wanted to be able to prescribe therapeutic agents. Over 50 per cent considered themselves competent and believed they were capable of treating dry eye, blepharitis, allergic conjunctivitis, corneal abrasions and contact lens induced papillary conjunctivitis. Over 90 per cent would be confident recommending topical lubricants and antihistamines, while 65 per cent felt they were adequately prepared to prescribe topical antibiotics. Education level, in particular the completion of a therapeutic drugs course, was the main factor that determined whether the respondents practised or were willing to practise at a higher level. CONCLUSION: The majority of Queensland optometrists are well aware of the issues surrounding the use of pharmaceutical agents. Many optometrists feel they are well prepared for prescribing ocular therapeutic agents

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ID Code: 498
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
ISSN: 0816-4622
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2000 Optometrists Association Australia
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher: Issues published between 1998-2005 are available free online - use hypertext link above.
Deposited On: 01 Dec 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2012 09:44

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