Multiple things going on at the same time: determinants of appropriate primary diabetic eyecare delivery

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: A recent nationwide medical record audit of optometry practices has identified an evidence-to-practice gap in primary diabetic eyecare delivery. This study aimed to explore the determinants (barriers and enablers) to appropriate diabetic eyecare delivery in Australia. Methods: A qualitative study involving focus-group discussions and interviews of a purposeful sample of Australian optometrists was conducted. Participants were asked about the perceived barriers to adherence to four underperforming clinical indicators related to primary diabetic eyecare identified by the recent national optometry practice audit. The Theoretical Domain Framework was used for thematic analysis and coding salience to identify key behavioural determinants. Results: Optometrists participated in eight focus groups (n = 27) and individual interviews (n = 4). The most salient barriers were related to Environmental resources (e.g., limited chair time); Beliefs about consequences (e.g., lack of perceived importance); Knowledge (e.g., poor understanding); Professional role/identity (e.g., the perceived role of optometry in care process); Social influences (e.g., the influence of senior optometrists) and Intentions (e.g., apathy). Key enablers were Environmental resources (e.g., electronic record system and practice aids); Knowledge (e.g., keeping up with knowledge/professional development); reinforcements (e.g., fear of legal actions) and behavioural regulations (e.g., self-monitoring/audit). Conclusions: This study shows that the evidence-to-practice gap in primary diabetic eyecare delivery in Australia can be attributed in part to several interconnected factors related to optometrists' individual capability and motivation as well as the social and practice environment within which they sit. These behavioural determinants will inform the design of an intervention to improve the appropriateness of primary diabetic eyecare delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalOphthalmic and Physiological Optics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


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