“It is important for ECPs to understand what they need to look for in myopia management studies”
Director of research for Aston University’s optometry and vision science research group, Professor Nicola Logan, shares her top five tips on assessing the validity of research into myopia management interventions
Professor Nicola Logan
21 September 2023
A resolution published by the World Council of Optometry has called for a new evidence-based standard of care for myopia management, but as eye care practitioners (ECPs) are we ready and confident enough to actively manage myopia and not simply correct the refraction?
In order to take that step and actively manage myopia, it is important for ECPs to understand what they need to look for in myopia management studies when they are published.
There is a hierarchy to how research evidence is categorised. While systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials sit at the top of the evidence model, case reports and expert opinion communications reside at the lower end of the evidence model.
It is vital that we, as eye care professionals, do everything possible to give our patients the highest quality of care and that includes practicing evidence-based eye care for myopia management
Based on this, practitioners should consider the following five points when assessing the validity of a myopia management intervention:
- Have the research findings been published in a peer-reviewed journal? For example, has it been reviewed by other independent researchers?
- What type of research study supports the claims? For example, are the data from a randomised controlled trial? Other study designs, such as case reports, do offer insight, but the strength of the evidence is considered not to be as strong
- What age are the study participants, and does this fit with the age range of children you see in your clinical practice?
- What was the length of the study? Ideally three-year longitudinal data are preferable
- What are the study outcomes? We are looking to see an effect on slowing rate of both myopia progression and axial elongation. Is there an effect of the intervention on both of these parameters?
Much of this information can be found in just the abstract of the paper, and this will help practitioners make a decision on whether to read the full publication or not.
It is vital that we, as eye care professionals, do everything possible to give our patients the highest quality of care and that includes practicing evidence-based eye care for myopia management.
I encourage all practitioners to think about these points next time they come across a new intervention for myopia management. If they do, they will be able to weigh up whether the intervention is worthy of adding it to their options for myopia management in practice.
About the author
Nicola Logan is a Professor of Optometry and director of research for the Optometry and Vision Science Research Group in the School of Optometry at Aston University. Her research interests are the epidemiology of refractive error, the development and aetiology of myopia, and strategies for myopia control.
Our Myopia Guide
You can read OT’s latest Myopia Guide, exploring how to incorporate myopia management into practice, online. The guide was produced with headline sponsor CooperVision, and in partnership with Topcon and the AOP.