Developing standards for the development of glaucoma virtual clinics using a modified Delphi approach

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PurposeTo obtain consensus opinion for the development of a standards framework for the development and implementation of virtual clinics for glaucoma monitoring in the UK using a modified Delphi methodology.MethodsA modified Delphi technique was used that involved sampling members of the UK Glaucoma and Eire Society (UKEGS). The first round scored the strength of agreement to a series of standards statements using a 9-point Likert scale. The revised standards were subjected to a second round of scoring and free-text comment. The final standards were discussed and agreed by an expert panel consisting of seven glaucoma subspecialists from across the UK. A version of the standards was submitted to external stakeholders for a 3-month consultation.ResultsThere was a 44% response rate of UKEGS members to rounds 1 and 2, consisting largely of consultant ophthalmologists with a specialist interest in glaucoma. The final version of the standards document was validated by stakeholder consultation and contains four sections pertaining to the patient groups, testing methods, staffing requirements and governance structure of NHS secondary care glaucoma virtual clinic models.ConclusionsUse of a modified Delphi approach has provided consensus agreement for the standards required for the development of virtual clinics to monitor glaucoma in the UK. It is anticipated that this document will be useful as a guide for those implementing this model of service delivery.

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