A prospective study on effectiveness of elevated intraocular pressure as a criterion for glaucoma referrals by optometric practitioners in Sweden

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Purpose: To evaluate the outcome of referrals for suspected glaucoma based on elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) made by optometric practitioners in Sweden. Methods: This prospective study included 95 individuals referred to the Skåne University Hospital Malmö, Sweden, during 2019, by optometric practitioners, based on elevated IOP. Positive outcome was defined as a diagnosis of glaucoma, or a diagnosis of suspected glaucoma. Referral accuracy was analysed. Positive predictive values (PPV) of different hypothetical IOP and age thresholds were calculated. Results: In 34% (95% CI: 24–43%) of the referrals, no eye disease was found. Intraocular pressure (IOP) was the only referral criterion in 77% (73/95). The PPV was 35% (95% CI: 25–45%) for all referrals, 27% (95% CI: 16–38%) for IOP-only referrals and 59% (95% CI: 36–82%) for referrals including additional findings. In IOP-only referrals, no definite diagnosis of glaucoma was made in any patients <45 years of age. Applying a theoretical age limit of ≥45 years with a hypothetical IOP limit of ≥25 mmHg in patients 45–69 years and of ≥22 mmHg in patients ≥70 years increased the PPV to 42% (95% CI: 27–57%). IOP-only referrals would have been reduced by 27% without missing any glaucoma cases. Conclusion: The overall predictive value of the referrals was poor. Glaucoma resources would have been used more effectively by increasing the required age for IOP-only referrals to ≥45 years in combination with different IOP thresholds for certain age groups.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Skåne University Hospital

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Oftalmologi


TidskriftActa Ophthalmologica
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2021 jan 10
Peer review utfördJa