Assessing Educational Needs in Geriatric Care in Ophthalmology: A Single Academic Institution Study
31 July 2015
29 January 2016
01 April 2016 (online)
Purpose The purpose of this study was to assess the educational needs in geriatric care among practicing and training eye care providers at a single academic institution, the Flaum Eye Institute, at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Methods Data were collected using a voluntary and anonymous electronic survey that was distributed to 35 training and practicing eye care providers.
Results Of the 35 distributed surveys, 27 (77%) were returned. Respondents included 6 residents-in-training and 17 practicing providers, based on those who reported demographics. Overall, respondents reported that most of their patients were older than 65 years (mean, 66.4%). Notably, 63% of providers felt they received very little to no prior education in geriatric care. Only 46.4% reported having a moderate level of interest in geriatric issues. While respondents reported high confidence levels in many geriatric domains, they reported moderate to low confidence levels in several others, including conducting cognitive and functional assessments, assessing and reducing the risk for falls and driving accidents, recognizing depression, and understanding the roles of long-term care and home services, social supports, and geriatric rehabilitation. Differences were also observed in confidence levels between residents-in-training and practicing providers in several geriatric domains.
Conclusion At this single academic institution, current practicing and training ophthalmologists reported having limited prior education in geriatric care and identified many opportunities for geriatric education. While larger-scale studies need to be conducted to produce more generalizable results, this pilot study serves as a guide to augment geriatric education and training of ophthalmologists and improve the quality of eye care for the rapidly growing aging U.S. population.