OPT018: Primary Care Update - Theory

This module aims to provide postgraduate optometrists with the opportunity to update theoretical knowledge in good, current UK optometric practice.

It is particularly suitable for those optometrists who have had a career break from general optometric practice. Students will be taught the current recommended management of commonly encountered ocular pathologies, and how modern instrumentation is used in such management. There is no practical element to this module. 

Start DateDurationCreditsPre-requisitesModule TutorsModule Code
March 2016
September 2016
26 contact hours over one academic term10 Credits
CET Points available
NoneAisling O'Donovan (Leader)OPT018

Additional information: This module complements OPT019, OPT013 and OPT017.

To acquire knowledge and understanding at a postgraduate level about:

  • how to investigate and manage glaucoma in practice with reference to the new NICE guidelines.
  • how to investigate and manage cataract in practice.
  • how to investigate and manage diabetes in practice.
  • how to investigate and manage age-related macular degeneration in practice with reference to the new treatment options for this disease.
  • how to investigate and manage the ocular complications of diabetes mellitus in practice
  • the principles of contact tonometry to measure Intra-Ocular Pressure (IOP).
  • the principles of the slit lamp binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy method of viewing the fundus.
  • the principles of assessing the anterior chamber angle and assessing the anterior chamber for signs of inflammation using a slit lamp
  • the latest research based evidence for prescribing spectacles for children and adults.
  • the correct use of cover test and fixation disparity method to investigate the binocular visual system
  • theory behind dynamic Mohindra, cycloplegic and dynamic retinoscopy
  • the different methods of assessing a child's vision

This module is taught via 12 lectures (PowerPoint with audio), delivered via Learning Central, the University's e-learning system, with supporting resources and references supplied. There are also 4 online case discussions for guided learning.

There is no practical element to this module; the complementary skills training is found in OPT019.

Online Examination (50%)

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. Visual Recognition and Interpretation of Clinical Signs (VRICS) tests will be included in these tests. VRICS are similar to MCQs but each question is linked to image slides of relevant cases.

Online Coursework (50%)

Students will complete 4 exercises of Key Features Scenarios (25%). Key features questions are used in medical education to test clinical reasoning, problem- solving ability and the ability to apply given knowledge. The learner must work through the case (online) by answering 4 sets of questions. Each question will have 4 possible answers. At each question stage, more will be revealed about the case.
Students will complete an essay question (25%)

  • The type and structure of questions used in history and symptoms taking and adapting the clinical assessments accordingly.
  • The different methods of viewing the patient's fundus and the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
  • The use of cover test in binocular vision assessment.
  • The use of fixation disparity in binocular vision assessment.
  • Recent thoughts on spectacle prescribing for children and adults.
  • The principles of contact tonometry, its uses and why it is gaining importance in primary care practice.
  • An update on glaucoma and primary care (recent NICE guidelines and their influence on primary care).
  • The presenting symptoms and signs of dry and wet AMD and its differential diagnosis.
  • The difference between treatable and non-treatable AMD and the treatments currently available to patients.
  • The different type of Volk lenses available and their particular uses.
  • The eye in diabetes and its management in primary care and the latest treatment options.
  • Cataracts, identification and management and current pathways in primary care.
  • The assessment of children's vision, including techniques to assess the refraction and accommodation status.
  • Assessing the anterior chamber for signs of inflammation and assessing the anterior chamber angle.

Academic skills

  • To collate information from a number of resources to improve learning.

Subject specific skills

  • Patient management and communication.
  • Appreciating the importance of evidence-based practice.
  • Appropriate investigations for ocular conditions.
  • Appropriate referral pathways for common ocular conditions.

Generic skills

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