Orthoptics researchers present at Eye Forum on innovation
- UTS:Orthoptics researchers Michelle Courtney-Harris and Vu Quang Do recently presented their research at the NSW ACI’s “Eye Forum 2017: Eyes on the Future”
- Michelle Courtney-Harris’ PhD research validates the use of a vision screening tool for the detection of eye problems in stroke and head injury patients.
- Vu Quang Do’s collaborative research project asks whether clinicians can use preoperative factors to identify patients at high-risk of poor outcomes from cataract surgery.
UTS Orthoptics researchers Michelle Courtney-Harris and Vu Quang Do presented their research to peers at the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation’s ‘Eye Forum 2017: Eyes on the Future’, hosted by the ACI Ophthalmology Network at Sydney’s Rosehill Racecourse.
The conference shared new and emerging orthoptic and opthalmological treatment tools and provided a valuable discussion platform for consumers and health professionals interested in eye health care challenges.
PhD candidate and Associate Lecturer Michelle Courtney-Harris presented her PhD research, which validates the use of a vision screening tool for the detection of eye problems in stroke and head injury patients and the accompanying education module.
Courtney-Harris’ research lead to the refinement of a vision screening tool developed by Neryla Jolly from Ryde Rehabilitation Hospital in conjunction with the NSW Health Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI).
“The tool has the ability to identify existing visual problems as well as new ones. If the visual problem is significant, then health practitioners can adapt their rehabilitative processes appropriately,” explained Courtney-Harris.
“It is simple enough that busy health professionals such as registrars, occupational therapists, physiotherapists or nurses can easily incorporate it in to a routine examination of the patient.
If we can improve non-eye care health practitioners’ ability to assess and understand eye function through the screening tool and education package, then their over-referral rate will come down. This will make a real difference to the outcomes and speed of treatment in regional NSW, as currently there is an overburden due to the limitation of ophthalmological services available.”
The validated vision screening tool has now been introduced into NSW hospitals as part of the acute stroke treatment pathway. Courtney-Harris continues to work in partnership with the NSW ACI on the validation of the tool and the design of the education module.
Fellow Orthoptics researcher Vu Quang Do is currently collaborating on a research project designed to improve methods for testing the effectiveness of cataract surgery. He presented findings from the ongoing project (entitled “Predicting patient-reported outcomes to cataract surgery” .
The project - supported by numerous universities, research centres and medical schools across Sydney and Australia - asks whether clinicians can use preoperative factors to identify patients at high-risk of poor outcomes from cataract surgery.
The ability to accurately predict patients who are at higher-risk of poorer perceived outcomes will allow clinicians to make more informed decisions on how to prioritise waiting lists for surgery; and how to tailor pre-operative counselling to ensure postsurgical expectations remain realistic.
The UTS Graduate School of Health congratulates its Orthoptics academics on their ongoing contributions to research and clinical practice in the field of eye health