Assessment of information included on the GOS 18 referral form used by optometrists

Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2003 Jan;23(1):21-3. doi: 10.1046/j.1475-1313.2003.00084.x.


Purpose: To audit the information included on GOS 18 forms used by UK optometrists when referring patients to an ophthalmologist.

Methods: All GOS 18 forms received in a hospital ophthalmology department over a 10-week period were photocopied and the categories of information presented were recorded.

Results: A total of 444 forms were analysed. The two most common referral categories were cataract 36.7% (n = 163) and glaucoma 18.4% (n = 82). Only 7% (n = 11) of cataract referrals included details regarding effect on patient's lifestyle and willingness for surgery. Forty-seven per cent (n = 77) of referrals for cataract resulted in patients being listed for surgery. Eighty-two per cent (n = 67) of referrals for glaucoma included disc assessment, intraocular pressure and visual fields. Five per cent (n = 22) of optometrists gained the patients' consent for release of clinical information. Thirty-one per cent (n = 137) of forms had no practitioner name and 6% (n = 27) gave no practice address.

Conclusion: Information included on GOS 18 forms could be improved with regard to cataract referrals. Feedback from ophthalmologists would be facilitated by inclusion of practitioner/practice details, and by completion of the consent section on the GOS 18.

MeSH terms

  • Cataract / diagnosis
  • Glaucoma / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Medical Audit*
  • Medical Records
  • Ophthalmology*
  • Optometry
  • Referral and Consultation*