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Are practical recommendations practiced? A national multi-centre cross-sectional study on frequency of visual field testing in glaucoma

Abstract

Aim To estimate current clinical practice for frequency of visual field (VF) monitoring in glaucoma in England.

Methods A cross-sectional review of all patients with chronic open angle glaucoma (COAG) attending specialist glaucoma clinics at six hospitals in England was performed. The number of VF tests undertaken prior to the study date and during the first 2 years since diagnosis were recorded and compared with European Glaucoma Society (EGS) guidelines for newly-diagnosed patients. Clinician-requested monitoring intervals were compared with intervals from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines, and the relationships with disease severity, intraocular pressure (IOP) and glaucoma progression status were reviewed.

Results One-hundred and four patients with COAG were included. 73 patients had at least 2 years of follow-up. Median (IQR) total number of VF tests and in the first 2 years of diagnosis were 4 (2–7) and 2 (2–3), respectively. No patients met EGS guidelines, but 87% of patients had their monitoring intervals requested in accordance with NICE guidelines. These intervals were not related to disease severity or VF stability (Kruskal–Wallis test, p=0.25) but shortened significantly when IOP control was inadequate or when the overall clinical impression was disease progression (p<0.001).

Conclusions Most newly-diagnosed COAG patients receive less than three VFs in the first 2 years following diagnosis and an average of 0.7 VF per year over the duration of follow-up.

  • Glaucoma
  • Field of vision
  • Public health

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