New research identifies priorities for eye care research in Britain

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Most popular, high-priority question selected by respondents in each survey. Credit: Eye (2024). DOI: 10.1038/s41433-024-03049-6

Preventing conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma, as well as better integration of primary and secondary care, have been identified as priorities for UK eye care research over the next five years by a new study.

A new study published in the news Eye surveyed 2,240 healthcare professionals, patients, caregivers, researchers and charity supporters to map research priorities for ophthalmology in Britain.

The study, conducted by the UK Clinical Eye Research Strategy (CERS), a group of leading researchers in the field led by Rupert Bourne, professor of ophthalmology at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), is an extensive update to the previous James Lind Alliance ( JLA) Sight and Vision Loss Priority Setting Partnership (SVLPSP)’s research priorities for ophthalmology, conducted in 2013.

Ophthalmology is one of the leading areas for new treatments and in recent decades we have seen the introduction of new diagnostic and treatment modalities that have significantly improved outcomes in people with eye diseases.

Despite active research within ophthalmology, there are still unanswered questions about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases and vision loss, half of which are thought to be preventable, although the UK has nationally representative population-based prevalence data .

The study summarizes that several areas of eye care should be prioritized for research to advance treatment and prevention in Britain. These include:

  • A focus on prevention strategies for cataracts;
  • Advances in the treatment of microbial keratitis of the cornea;
  • Improved integration of ophthalmic primary and secondary care;
  • Developmental and/or progress research for refractive errors;
  • Initiatives for early detection of eye care diseases in children;
  • Glaucoma: improved treatment modalities for glaucoma;
  • Neuro-ophthalmology: holistic approach to prevention, diagnosis and treatment;
  • Innovative strategies for dry age-related macular degeneration;
  • Research into new treatments for inflammatory diseases such as uveitis.

Lead author Rupert Bourne, Professor of Ophthalmology, said: “The results of this study provide a crucial refresher on key research questions, ten years after the initial Priority Setting Partnership. This study provides the basis for focused research efforts within ophthalmology, a specialty that faces significant challenges but remains vastly underfunded given the heavy burden of eye diseases.”

More information:
Rupert RA Bourne et al, The UK Clinical Eye Research Strategy: Refreshing Research Priorities for Clinical Eye Research in the UK, Eye (2024). DOI: 10.1038/s41433-024-03049-6

Provided by Anglia Ruskin University

Quote: New study maps priorities for eye care research in Britain (2024, May 29), retrieved May 29, 2024 from

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