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As part of the efforts to end the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, ophthalmologists were advised by the American Academy of Ophthalmology to limit close contact with patients unless providing urgent or emergency care. As a result, many patients had appointments canceled and experienced gaps in their treatment. This article, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, describes complications resulting from this treatment gap and some possible solutions.

An analysis of over 2 million patient encounters in the Spring of 2020 showed an 81% reduction in ophthalmic patient volume in the United States. In addition to further data on treatment interruption, results from a telephonic questionnaire are reviewed, confirming the extent of patient concern and negative perception of their gap in treatment. 

The article concluded that patient involvement in care is essential for patient health and wellbeing. Understanding patient perspectives on treatment and other factors is therefore crucial for optimizing ophthalmic care during the pandemic [1].

Source:

[1] Morse, A. R. (2021). The importance of patients’ perspectives in providing ophthalmic care—lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. JAMA Ophthalmology, 139(5), 516. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2021.0121

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