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Teaching Orthoptics to Ophthalmology Residents: A Needs Assessment Study

Kailin Karen Zhang, BOrthOphthSc(Hons)1
Désirée Lie, MD MSEd2

1 Orthoptic Department, Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore
2 Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore

Aim: This is a needs assessment study with the primary aim of examining the relevance of orthoptic tests to ophthalmology residents’ practice, and their confidence in performing and interpreting the tests, to establish the need for further orthoptic education during residency.

Method: Participants were Years 1 to 5 ophthalmology residents from a tertiary hospital training program where no formal orthoptic training is offered. An online nine-question survey was conducted over four weeks to assess residents’ perceptions of the relevance of orthoptic tests to their practice, their confidence in performing and interpreting ten common orthoptic tests, and preferences for curriculum content and delivery. Responses consisted of 5-point Likert scale options and selection of tests out of ten options. Data were analysed by descriptive statistics using median and range.

Results: Of 31 eligible residents, 23 (74%) responded. Relevance to practice was rated high among all respondents (median rating 4 out of 5, range 2 to 5) for all ten tests. Self-rated confidence in test performance was generally low (median rating 3, range 1 to 5). Confidence in test interpretation was higher (median rating 4, range 1 to 5). Respondents selected five tests for which they desired further training. Preference for e-learning was high, with 70% considering this modality ‘very useful’.

Conclusion: Ophthalmology residents consider orthoptics to be relevant to their practice. Baseline self-reported confidence in test performance is low. They express a desire for further orthoptic training and e-learning is an acceptable teaching format.

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