Positive predictive value of optometrist-initiated referrals for glaucoma

Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 1999 Jan;19(1):62-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1475-1313.1999.00410.x.


A study was conducted at the Moorfields Community Eye Clinic at Ealing Hospital to determine the positive predictive value (ppv) of optometric referrals for suspected glaucoma. The information reported in the referrals and the reasons given for referral were also assessed and evaluated in relation to the ppv. Information was gathered through prospective analysis of patient clinic notes. Ninety patients were referred over a six-month period of which 87 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The optometrist referral letters for 79 of these patients were supplied by the GP. Results indicate a ppv of 0.43. The reason for referral in the majority of cases (48%) was raised IOP alone. However the most frequently reported mode of practice was a combination of disc and IOP assessment (57%). In line with other research our study demonstrates that referral accuracy improves as the number of suspicious findings increases. In addition those referrals reporting all three tests (IOP measurement, optic disc assessment and perimetry) are shown to have the highest ppv.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Glaucoma / diagnosis*
  • Glaucoma / pathology
  • Glaucoma / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Optic Disk / pathology
  • Optometry*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Visual Field Tests