Profile of Nepalese optometrists and their perspectives about a new optometry school

Dinesh Kaphle, Himal Kandel, Prakash Paudel, Kovin Naidoo

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: The optometry training programme started in Nepal in 1997 with an intake of six students per year. The second optometry school was established in 2018 with an intake of 40 students per year. Aim: To establish a profile for Nepalese optometrists and understand their perspectives regarding the entrance examination, curriculum, infrastructure and recruitment of lecturers for a newly opened second optometry school. Setting: The prospective study respondents were contacted by email and the survey was administered online. Methods: A semi-structured questionnaire was emailed to 118 registered optometrists of the Nepalese Association of Optometrists, and the response rate of the survey was 69%. The questionnaire contained broad areas such as demographics of participants, their scope of practice, mode of entrance examination and content of the course curriculum, and availability of adequate infrastructure and lecturers. Results: A vast majority (93%) of the respondents suggested that optometrists should have been involved more in the planning of the programme. Over half of the respondents (57.5%) suggested that the programme should go ahead with a revised curriculum and wellequipped laboratories. The qualitative analysis produced four broad themes: (1) quality assurance and control; (2) resources; (3) curriculum development and implementation; and (4) professional standards and opportunities. The responders expressed several strategies to address these concerns, including communicating with stakeholders and filing a case in the court for starting up a new optometry school without sufficient involvement of the existing optometrists. Conclusion: The recommendations for improvement include conducting impartial entrance examinations, establishing equipped laboratories and recruiting adequate lecturers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera476
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalAfrican Vision and Eye Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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