The Effect of Participating in Continuing Optometric Education: A Pilot Study

Claire Mc Donnell, DipOpt, PGDE
Martina Crehan, MA

Abstract

Purpose: To determine whether participation in two different post-graduate optometry workshops resulted in a change in practice for the participants.

Methods: Thirty-eight optometrists, who had attended a continuing professional development (CPD) workshop on punctal plugs and lacrimal syringing, were surveyed by e-mail and telephone between 4 and 13 months after the workshop to ascertain whether they had made a change in their subsequent practice. A second group of 32 optometrists, who had attended a continuing education and training (CET) workshop on binocular vision, were surveyed by e-mail, telephone and postal mail between 6 and 9 months after the workshop to ascertain whether their practice had changed.

Results: After the CPD workshop, 29% (11 of 38) of practitioners had inserted punctal plugs, and 11% (4 of 38) had syringed. After the CET workshop, 37.5% (12 of 32) had made a significant change to their practice.

Conclusions: In common with other healthcare professionals, attendance at post-graduate education events does not appear to effect a change in practice for most optometrists. The effectiveness of a workshop cannot, however, be judged entirely on whether or not those attending it subsequently make changes to their practice.

Key Words: optometry continuing professional development education workshop

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