Clinical indicators for diabetic eyecare delivered by optometrists in Australia: a Delphi study

Rajendra Gyawali, Melinda Toomey, Fiona Stapleton, Kam Chun Ho, Lisa Keay, David C Pye, Paula Katalinic, Gerald Liew, Yan Inez Hsing, Jacqueline Ramke, Alex Gentle, Ann L Webber, Katrina L Schmid, Sharon Bentley, Peter Hibbert, Louise Wiles, Isabelle Jalbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Valid and updated clinical indicators can serve as important tools in assessing and improving eyecare delivery.

BACKGROUND: Indicators for diabetic eyecare in Australia were previously developed from guidelines published before 2013 and then used to assess the appropriateness of care delivery through a nationwide patient record card audit (the iCareTrack study). To reflect emerging evidence and contemporary practice, this study aimed to update clinical indicators for optometric care for people with type 2 diabetes in Australia.

METHODS: Forty-five candidate indicators, including existing iCareTrack and new indicators derived from nine high-quality evidence-based guidelines, were generated. A two-round modified Delphi process where expert panel members rated the impact, acceptability, and feasibility of the indicators on a 9-point scale and voted for inclusion or exclusion of the candidate indicators was used. Consensus on inclusion was reached when the median scores for impact, acceptability, and feasibility were ≥7 and >75% of experts voted for inclusion.

RESULTS: Thirty-two clinical indicators with high acceptability, impact and feasibility ratings (all median scores: 9) were developed. The final indicators were related to history taking ( n  = 12), physical examination ( n  = 8), recall period ( n  = 5), referral ( n  = 5), and patient education/communication ( n  = 2). Most (14 of 15) iCareTrack indicators were retained either in the original format or with modifications. New indicators included documenting the type of diabetes, serum lipid level, pregnancy, systemic medications, nephropathy, Indigenous status, general practitioner details, pupil examination, intraocular pressure, optical coherence tomography, diabetic retinopathy grading, recall period for high-risk diabetic patients without retinopathy, referral of high-risk proliferative retinopathy, communication with the general practitioner, and patient education.

CONCLUSION: A set of 32 updated diabetic eyecare clinical indicators was developed based on contemporary evidence and expert consensus. These updated indicators inform the development of programs to assess and enhance the eyecare delivery for people with diabetes in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalClinical and Experimental Optometry
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes


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