Age-related macular disease (AMD) is a multifactorial degenerative condition affecting the central area of the retina. Patients with AMD report that eye care practitioners are not giving consistent advice regarding nutrition and reported confusion as to what advice, if any, to follow. The aim of this study was to design and conduct a preliminary evaluation of a flowchart to support eye care practitioners in providing accurate, evidence-based nutritional advice to their patients. A flowchart was designed to take practitioners through a decision-making process that would determine whether a patient matched the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) 2 eligibility criteria for supplementation. The flowchart was evaluated using a qualified and student optometrist cohort, with both cohorts completing confidence scales and students completing clinical scenarios. Qualified participants showed a significant increase in confidence scores from the initial survey (M = 69.7%, standard deviation [SD] = 16.2%) to the second survey after use of the flowchart for 2 weeks (M = 82.1%, SD = 11.6%; t(45) = 7.33, p < .001; rs = .61, p < .001). The student participants also increased confidence scored after receiving the flowchart (M of first survey = 41.7, SD = 14.6; M of second survey = 69.1, SD = 1.7; t(25) = 7.92, d = .81, p < .001) and increased the number of correct answers on five clinical scenarios. Overall, the flowchart has proved to be useful in boosting the self-efficacy of both qualified practitioners and student practitioners, as well as improving clinical decisions made by student practitioners.
Bibliographical note© The Author(s) 2017.
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- age-related macular degeneration
- clinical decision-making aid