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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 1254-1259

Self-reported confidence with ocular examination and management of eye diseases by general medical practitioners

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State; Department of Ophthalmology, Enugu State University of Science and Technology Teaching Hospital, Parklane, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Enugu State University of Science and Technology Teaching Hospital, Parklane, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria
3 Department of Ophthalmology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. A A Onyiaorah
Department of Ophthalmology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Guinness Eye Centre Onitsha, Anambra State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_674_19

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Aims: The aim of the study is to determine the confidence of general practitioners (GPs) with ophthalmic exam and management of eye diseases. Materials and Methods: Using self-administered questionnaire, information on sociodemographics, medical practice experience, confidence with eye exam, and management of eye diseases was obtained from GP at the General Outpatient Department. Responses on level of confidence were ranked with Likert scale and analyzed with the Statistical Package for Social Science, version 23. Results: Twenty-two GPs with mean medical practice experience of 17.4 ± 8.5 years participated. Twelve (54.5%) GPs routinely examined patients' eyes. Pen torch assessment of ocular surface was most commonly performed eye exam, 1 (4.6%) did visual acuity, while none performed ophthalmoscopy. Seventeen (77.3%) GPs rated themselves average or higher in interpreting pen torch examination of ocular surface. Expressed diagnostic confidence was highest for pterygium, 19 (86.4%), and low for interpreting visual acuity, 8 (36.4%); 13 (59.1%) were confident with diagnosing cataract. While all GPs (100.0%) were not confident with diagnosing and managing posterior segment diseases, 19 (86.4%) felt that they could confidently manage allergic and bacterial conjunctivitis, respectively. Seventeen (77.3%) GPs thought their undergraduate exposure in ophthalmology was inadequate and 21 (95.5%) felt that update courses in ophthalmology were necessary. Conclusions: Half of the GPs performed eye examination. Self-reported confidence in ophthalmoscopy, diagnosis, and management of posterior segment diseases was low among GPs. Diagnostic confidence was highest for pterygium. Continuing ophthalmic education and provision of basic ophthalmic equipment are recommended to improve confidence of GP in management of ocular disorders.

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