OPT016: Evidence-based Eye Care and Clinical Audit

Clinical audit is a frequently neglected area of activity in community practice - especially personal clinical audit.

Many practices monitor sales activity, and some monitor record keeping but few look at anything beyond that.

This module aims to provide the skills to enable practitioners to do a clinical audit in optometric practice including planning, implementing and reporting an audit. It will also cover searching the literature, understanding a research paper and summarising the evidence. Students should gain an understanding of the reasons for clinical audit and research, and the differences (and overlap) between them.

This module complements OPT008, OPT013, OPT021, OPT060.

Start dateDurationCreditsPrerequisitesModule tutorsModule code
September 201724 contact hours over two academic terms10 credits

CET points available
NoneTrevor Warburton (Leader)

Barbara Ryan

Learning objectives

To acquire knowledge and understanding at an advanced level about:

  • The need to conduct clinical audit
  • The difference between audit and research
  • What is evidence-based practice and how is it established
  • How to interpret a research paper
  • How to translate the results of research and audit into changes in clinical practice.

To apply this knowledge to given situations and demonstrate how you would:

  • Design, implement, analyse and write up a basic audit
  • Develop an action plan from the results of an audit.

To critically evaluate:

  • The results from a clinical audit
  • The evidence for a chosen aspect of clinical practice
  • A research paper.

How the module will be developed

This module is taught via 6 lectures (PowerPoint with audio), delivered via Learning Central, the University's e-learning system, with supporting resources and references supplied.

There are 2 online, guided case discussions – students will work in small groups to discuss the merits and problems with each and determine what (if any) change in clinical practice should be implemented. There is also a one day workshop where key skills are taught and practiced with direct guidance. 24 contact hours

How the module will be assessed

Online examination (40%): There is a MCQ test that will assess comprehension and application across the entire syllabus which students take at the end of the lecture series for final assessment.

Written coursework (60%): Students will be required to submit two pieces of written coursework.

Syllabus content

  • Conducting a literature search and critical appraisal of a chosen topic
  • Using endnote
  • Definition and history of clinical audit
  • Examples of audit in optometry
  • Audit design
  • Collection and analysis of material for audit
  • Writing up an audit
  • The audit cycle and making changes to practice highlighted by clinical audit
  • The differences and overlap between clinical audit, advanced clinical audit and purpose-designed research.
  • Ethical and legal considerations for clinical audit and research

Skills that will be practised and developed

Academic skills:

  • The interpretation of data
  • Collate information from a number of resources to improve learning.

Subject-specific skills:

  • The development of clinical audit skills
  • The ability to critically analyse optometric research.

Generic skills:

  • Time management
  • Working independently
  • Problem solving
  • Basic statistics
  • Communication skills.


Postgraduate team

School of Optometry and Vision Sciences