Australian general practice trainees’ exposure to ophthalmic problems and implications for training: a cross-sectional analysis

Morgan, Simon, Tapley, Amanda, Henderson, Kim M., Spike, Neil A., McArthur, Lawrie A., Stewart, Rebecca, Davey, Andrew R., Dunlop, Anthony, Van Driel, Mieke L. and Magin, Parker J. (2016) Australian general practice trainees’ exposure to ophthalmic problems and implications for training: a cross-sectional analysis. Journal of Primary Health Care, 8 4: 295-302. doi:10.1071/HC16024


Author Morgan, Simon
Tapley, Amanda
Henderson, Kim M.
Spike, Neil A.
McArthur, Lawrie A.
Stewart, Rebecca
Davey, Andrew R.
Dunlop, Anthony
Van Driel, Mieke L.
Magin, Parker J.
Title Australian general practice trainees’ exposure to ophthalmic problems and implications for training: a cross-sectional analysis
Journal name Journal of Primary Health Care   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1172-6156
1172-6164
Publication date 2016-12-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/HC16024
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 8
Issue 4
Start page 295
End page 302
Total pages 8
Place of publication Wellington, New Zealand
Publisher Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners
Language eng
Subject 2739 Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Abstract INTRODUCTION: Eye conditions are common presentations in Australian general practice, with the potential for serious sequelae. Pre-vocational ophthalmology training for General Practitioner (GP) trainees is limited. AIM: To describe the rate, nature and associations of ophthalmic problems managed by Australian GP trainees, and derive implications for education and training. METHODS: Cross-sectional analysis from an ongoing cohort study of GP trainees’ clinical consultations. Trainees recorded demographic, clinical and educational details of consecutive patient consultations. Descriptive analyses report trainee, patient and practice demographics. Proportions of all problems managed in these consultations that were ophthalmology-related were calculated with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Associations were tested using simple logistic regression within the generalised estimating equations (GEE) framework. RESULTS: In total, 884 trainees returned data on 184,476 individual problems or diagnoses from 118,541 encounters. There were 2649 ophthalmology-related problems, equating to 1.4% (95% CI: 1.38-1.49) of all problems managed. The most common eye presentations were conjunctivitis (32.5% of total problems), eyelid problems (14.9%), foreign body (5.3%) and dry eye (4.7%). Statistically significant associations were male trainee; male patient and patient aged 14 years or under; the problem being new and the patient being new to both trainee and practice; urban and of higher socioeconomic status practice location; the practice nurse not being involved; planned follow up not arranged; referral made; in-consultation information sought; and learning goals generated. DISCUSSION: Trainees have comparable ophthalmology exposure to established GPs. However, associations with referral and information-seeking suggest GP trainees find ophthalmic problems challenging, reinforcing the critical importance of appropriate training.
Formatted abstract
Introduction: Eye conditions are common presentations in Australian general practice, with the potential for serious sequelae. Pre-vocational ophthalmology training for General Practitioner (GP) trainees is limited.

Aim: To describe the rate, nature and associations of ophthalmic problems managed by Australian GP trainees, and derive implications for education and training.

Methods: Cross-sectional analysis from an ongoing cohort study of GP trainees’ clinical consultations. Trainees recorded demographic, clinical and educational details of consecutive patient consultations. Descriptive analyses report trainee, patient and practice demographics. Proportions of all problems managed in these consultations that were ophthalmology-related were calculated with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Associations were tested using simple logistic regression within the generalised estimating equations (GEE) framework.

Results: In total, 884 trainees returned data on 184,476 individual problems or diagnoses from 118,541 encounters. There were 2649 ophthalmology-related problems, equating to 1.4% (95% CI: 1.38-1.49) of all problems managed. The most common eye presentations were conjunctivitis (32.5% of total problems), eyelid problems (14.9%), foreign body (5.3%) and dry eye (4.7%). Statistically significant associations were male trainee; male patient and patient aged 14 years or under; the problem being new and the patient being new to both trainee and practice; urban and of higher socioeconomic status practice location; the practice nurse not being involved; planned follow up not arranged; referral made; in-consultation information sought; and learning goals generated.

Discussion: Trainees have comparable ophthalmology exposure to established GPs. However, associations with referral and information-seeking suggest GP trainees find ophthalmic problems challenging, reinforcing the critical importance of appropriate training.
Keyword Education
Eye disease
General practice
Graduate
Medical
Ophthalmology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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