To describe international variation in anesthesia care and monitoring during cataract surgery and to discuss its implications for cost and safety.
A standardized questionnaire was sent to random samples of ophthalmologists in the United States, Canada, and Barcelona, Spain, and to all ophthalmologists in Denmark. The survey was conducted in 1993 and 1994. Certified ophthalmologists who had performed 1 or more cataract extractions in the previous year were eligible for enrollment.
The response rates were 62% in the United States (n=148), 67% in Canada (n=276), 70% in Barcelona (n=89), and 80% in Denmark (n=82). The anesthetic technique for cataract surgery varied significantly between sites (P
OBJECTIVES: To describe international variation in the management of patients with cataacts in 4 health care systems and to discuss the potential implications for cost and utilization of services. DESIGN: To characterize current clinical practice on patients with no coexisting medical or ocular conditions, a standardized questionnaire was sent to random samples of ophthalmologists in the United States (response rate, 82.5%), Canada (66.9%), and Barcelona, Spain (70.4%), and to all ophthalmologists in Denmark (80.1%). From the United States, 526 ophthalmologists who performed cataract surgery participated in the study; there were 276 from Canada, 89 from Barcelona, and 82 from Denmark. RESULTS: Although in all 4 sites most surgeons reported that they performed A-scanning, fundus examination, and refraction routinely before surgery, significant crossnational variation was observed in preoperative ophthalmic and medical testing. While preoperative medical tests were virtually unused in Denmark, they were widely used in the other sites. A significantly higher proportion of the surgeons in the United States and Barcelona reported that they performed less than 100 extractions per year compared with surgeons in Canada and Denmark (P
To compile a database recording components of undergraduate education in ophthalmology in Canada.
Mailed questionnaire survey.
The 16 Canadian medical schools.
All ophthalmology undergraduate program directors.
Teaching hours, subjects and clinical skills taught, examination methods.
Almost all schools covered a similar curriculum and used multiple-choice examinations. The number of hours devoted to preclerkship teaching was similar, but only seven schools had a mandatory clerkship rotation. Overall, 69% of the annual graduating medical school class receive clinical exposure to ophthalmology during their clerkship. Almost all schools provided electives that were similar in structure.
There was great similarity in the curricula for medical student teaching in Canada. Efforts should be undertaken to increase the proportion of medical students receiving clinical teaching in ophthalmology. Increased coordination and collaboration in undergraduate teaching can be achieved in specific areas with future data sharing.
Comment In: Can J Ophthalmol. 1998 Feb;33(1):1-29513764
To examine Canadian ophthalmologists' reported practices related to cataract surgery.
Mailed questionnaire survey.
Random sample of 698 ophthalmologists from the mailing list of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society. Of the 528 eligible ophthalmologists 353 completed the questionnaire (response rate 67%). A total of 276 respondents were classified as cataract surgeons (performed at least one cataract operation in the preceding year ) and were included in the study.
Reported use of preoperative ophthalmic tests, surgical technique, cataract anesthesia (including type of block and who administers it) and postoperative care.
Most of the preoperative tests examined either were so routine as to be done in almost all cases or were rarely done at all. A total of 52% of the respondents were identified as predominantly extracapsular cataract extraction surgeons (ECCE), 46% as predominantly phacoemulsification surgeons and 2% as predominantly intracapsular cataract extraction surgeons. Overall, 57% of the respondents reported high use of retrobulbar anesthesia, 18% reported high use of peribulbar anesthesia, and 0.7% reported high use of general anesthesia. The mean number of postoperative visits in the first 4 months after surgery was 4.25. The mean rate of Nd:YAG laser capsulotomy in the first year after cataract surgery was 17.9%; 91% of the respondents reported a rate less than 40%.
There seems to be limited use of nonessential preoperative ocular testing by Canadian cataract surgeons. Although ECCE remains the most common type of surgery performed, there appears to be a substantial number of surgeons trying phacoemulsification, and this will likely become the predominant technique in the near future. The self-reported practices of Canadian surgeons with relation to preoperative testing and postoperative follow-up appear to be consistent with the Clinical Practice Guideline for cataract surgery set by the US Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. However, variations in the number of postoperative visits and Nd:YAG capsulotomy rates merit further investigation.
A survey was carried out to examine variation in preoperative testing of healthy patients scheduled to undergo cataract surgery in Canada. The results showed significant variations in which investigations are mandatory and in how close to the time of surgery the tests had to be done. A literature review questioning the value of routine preoperative testing is presented. Eliminating low-yield pre-operative screening tests is a safe way to reduce expenditures on cataract surgery without compromising patient care.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: International comparisons of clinical practice may help in assessing the magnitude and possible causes of variation in cross national healthcare utilisation. With this aim, the indications for cataract surgery in the United States, Denmark, the province of Manitoba (Canada), and the city of Barcelona (Spain) were compared. METHODS: In a prospective multicentre study, patients scheduled for first eye cataract surgery and aged 50 years or older were enrolled consecutively. From the United States 766 patients were enrolled; from Denmark 291; from Manitoba 152; and from Barcelona 200. Indication for surgery was measured as preoperative visual status of patients enlisted for cataract surgery. Main variables were preoperative visual acuity in operative eye, the VF-14 score (an index of functional impairment in patients with cataract) and ocular comorbidity. RESULTS: Mean visual acuity were 0.23 (USA), 0.17 (Denmark), 0.15 (Manitoba), and 0.07 (Barcelona) (p 0.05). Mean VF-14 scores were 76 (USA), 76 (Denmark), 71 (Manitoba), and 64 (Barcelona) (p
OBJECTIVE: To compare visual outcomes obtained following cataract surgery in 4 sites in North America and Europe where considerable differences in the organization of care and patterns of clinical practice have been previously described. METHODS: Patients scheduled for first eye-cataract surgery and aged 50 years or older were enrolled consecutively in a prospective multicenter study that collected clinical and patient interview data preoperatively and postoperatively. From the United States, 772 patients were enrolled; from the Province of Manitoba (Canada), 159; from Denmark, 291; and from the City of Barcelona (Spain), 200. Preoperative and 4-month postoperative visual acuity was obtained for 92% of the patients (n = 1291). RESULTS: The mean 4-month postoperative visual acuity of eyes operated on varied significantly across the 4 sites (P