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Br J Ophthalmol. May 2000; 84(5): 456–463.
PMCID: PMC1723467

The Bristol shared care glaucoma study: outcome at follow up at 2 years

Abstract

AIM—To examine the outcome of care for patients with glaucoma followed up by the hospital eye service compared with those followed up by community optometrists.
METHODS—A randomised study with patients allocated to follow up by the hospital eye service or community optometrists was carried out in the former county of Avon in south west England. 403 patients with established or suspected primary open angle glaucoma attending Bristol Eye Hospital and meeting defined inclusion and exclusion criteria were studied. The mean number of missed points on visual field testing in the better eye (using a "better/worse" eye analysis) in each group were measured. The visual field was measured using the Henson semiautomated central field analyser (CFA 3000). Measurements were made by the research team on all patients at baseline before randomisation and again 2 years after randomisation. The mean number of missed points on visual field testing in the worse eye, mean intraocular pressure (mm Hg), and cup disc ratio using a "better/worse" eye analysis in each group at 2 years were also measured. Measurements were made by the research team on all patients at baseline before randomisation and again 2 years after randomisation. An analysis of covariance comparing method of follow up taking into account baseline measurements of outcome variables was carried out. Additional control was considered for age, sex, diagnostic group (glaucoma suspect/established primary open angle glaucoma), and treatment (any/none).
RESULTS—From examination of patient notes, 2780 patients with established or suspected glaucoma were identified. Of these, 752 (27.1%) fulfilled the entry criteria. For hospital and community follow up group respectively, mean number of missed points on visual field testing at 2 year follow up for better eye was 7.9 points and 6.8 points; for the worse eye 20.2 points and 18.4 points. Similarly, intraocular pressure was 19.3 mm Hg and 19.3 mm Hg (better eye), and 19.1 mm Hg and 19.0 mm Hg (worse eye); cup disc ratio at 2 year follow up was 0.72 and 0.72 (better eye), and 0.74 and 0.74 for hospital and community follow up group respectively. No significant differences in any of the key visual variables were found between the two groups before or after adjusting for baseline values and age, sex, treatment, and type of glaucoma.
CONCLUSIONS—It is feasible to set and run shared care schemes for a proportion of patients with suspected and established glaucoma using community optometrists. After 2 years (a relatively short time in the life of a patient with glaucoma), there were no marked or statistically significant differences in outcome between patients followed up in the hospital eye service or by community optometrists. Decisions to implement such schemes need to be based on careful consideration of the costs of such schemes and local circumstances, including geographical access and the current organisation of glaucoma care within the hospital eye service.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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Figure 1
Trial profile.

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