Facilitators and barriers to the delivery of eye care by optometrists: a systematic review using the theoretical domains framework

Melinda Toomey, Rajendra Gyawali, Fiona Stapleton, Kam Chun Ho, Lisa Keay, Isabelle Jalbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Evidence-based practice is fundamental to providing quality care, patient satisfaction and judicious use of limited healthcare resources. However, variability in evidence-based eye care delivery has been reported. Given the important role of optometrists in delivering primary eye care, a better understanding of the barriers and facilitators to providing optometric care is required. This systematic review aimed to identify determinants (barriers and facilitators) of eye care delivery by optometrists and interventions that may improve eye care delivery. Recent findings: PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, SCOPUS, PsychINFO, ProQuest and Web of Science were searched for studies reporting barriers and facilitators to eye care delivery published between 1999 and 2020. The Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) was used to analyse data (quotations, interpretive summaries, survey result) with barriers and facilitators coded to one or more of the 14 domains, and used to identify the key behavioural domains influencing eye care delivery based on frequency of coding, elaboration and stated importance in the study. Influential domains were mapped to the Behaviour Change Wheel to identify potential interventions to improve eye care delivery. Of the 802 studies retrieved from the search, 30 were included. Frequently identified barriers were time constraints, resources and equipment issues, patient factors, lack of awareness, skill proficiency deficits and negative attitudes and beliefs. Frequently identified facilitators were adequate time, resources and equipment, education, skill proficiency and understanding the relevancy of the eye care provided. The key TDF domains influencing eye care delivery were ‘environmental context and resources’ (time, resources, equipment issues, patient factors), ‘knowledge’ (awareness issues), ‘skills’ (skills proficiency) and ‘belief about consequences’ (beliefs and relevancy). Intervention functions that may improve eye care delivery were education, training, restriction, environmental restructuring, enablement, persuasion and modelling. Summary: The barriers and facilitators identified in this review were diverse and located at both the practitioner and organisational levels. Four TDF domains were found to be influential determinants of eye care practice. Intervention functions identified in this study can be used to improve the appropriateness of primary eye care delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-797
Number of pages16
JournalOphthalmic and Physiological Optics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


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