Survey of German Clinical Prescribing Philosophies for Hyperopia

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Abstract

Purpose.

We surveyed a group of German ophthalmologists to evaluate their prescribing philosophies for hyperopic refractive error in symptom-free children and to compare them with the two groups of U.S. pediatric ophthalmologists and U.S. pediatric optometrists as surveyed by Lyons et al.

Methods.

Practitioners were selected from a list of ophthalmologists on the Internet. They were either in general practice in three cities in northern Bavaria or affiliated with large ophthalmology teaching hospitals in Wuerzburg and Erlangen. The survey questions of Lyons et al. were translated into German and mailed to 103 ophthalmologists. The data received from the German ophthalmologists were compared with those of the U.S. optometrists and ophthalmologists.

Results.

A total of 45 surveys (44%) were returned to us and analyzed. In cases of asymptomatic bilateral hyperopia, German ophthalmologists did not prescribe significantly differently from U.S. optometrists at all patient age groups (p ≥ 0.05), but they did differ significantly from U.S. ophthalmologists (p < 0.001). Prescribing fractional amounts of hyperopia or astigmatism was not a popular rule of thumb among the German ophthalmologists, and there was no statistical difference between the German and U.S. practitioners. German ophthalmologists would prescribe for anisometropia for all patient age groups in the same way as both U.S. optometrists and U.S. ophthalmologists.

Conclusion.

The prescribing philosophies of German ophthalmologists for pediatric patients did not differ from those of U.S. ophthalmologists and U.S. optometrists when prescribing for anisometropia; they did differ from those of U.S. ophthalmologists but not of those of the U.S. optometrists when prescribing for asymptomatic bilateral hyperopia.

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