Aim: To determine the percentage of the population at risk of developing glaucoma, which can potentially be reached by conducting glaucoma screening during regular optician visits.
Methods: 1200 inhabitants aged >40 years were randomly selected from Dutch community population databases. A questionnaire was mailed to these inhabitants with questions on their latest optician visit and risk factors for glaucoma. A second questionnaire was sent to their opticians, who were asked about their willingness to conduct an additional glaucoma screening programme in the future.
Results: The questionnaire was returned by 959 of 1200 inhabitants and 37 of 50 opticians. The percentage of inhabitants who visited an optician during a 5-year period was 83% (95% confidence interval (CI) 80% to 85%). This percentage was adjusted for the presence of risk factors for glaucoma to obtain the percentage of the population at risk of developing glaucoma. The percentage of opticians willing to cooperate in a glaucoma screening programme extended beyond a non-contact tonometry measurement alone was 91% (95% CI 77% to 98%).
Conclusion: By conducting glaucoma screening during regular optician visits, a large section of the population at risk of developing glaucoma can be reached.
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Funding: This research was supported by the University Medical Center Groningen through the Department of Medical Technology Assessment of the University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.
Competing interests: None declared.
Published Online First 19 July 2006
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