Global Ophthalmology Practice Patterns during COVID-19 Pandemic and Lockdown

Srinivasan Sanjay, Seo Wei Leo, Kah Guan Au Eong, Gitalisa Andayani Adriono, Kenneth C.S. Fong, Kartik Anand, Rumita S. Kadarisman, David B. Granet, Padmamalini Mahendradas, Rohit Shetty, Sharon D. Souza, Swaminathan P. Iyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aim: To assess the impact of practice patterns amongst global ophthalmologists during severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS Cov2) causing Corona virus disease (COVID-19) and understand the various modifications made to address emergency surgeries and practice needs. Methods: An online survey was sent to practicing ophthalmologists around the world through email, Whatsapp™ ListServ17.0™ (for pediatric ophthalmologists), WeChat™ (China) and ophthalmology associations (Indonesia, Philippines, Ireland). All queries were collected and categorized. Responses to the queries were given according to the recommendations by the Ophthalmology association. Practices ability to deal with the COVID were also classified according to country and type of access to PPE. Statistical analyses of the association between these data and queries, where appropriate were carried out. Results: One thousand nine hundred sixteen ophthalmologists were invited to participate in a survey between April 10th and April 30th, 2020 of which 1207 responded, which is a response rate of approximately 63%. The majority of respondents were from India, Indonesia, China, Singapore and the USA. Our study indicates a precipitous drop in surgical procedures with 46% (n = 538) ophthalmologists ceased to operate on their patients and almost 40% (n = 486) were doing less than 25% of their original number of surgeries. The intent to resume elective surgeries was a consideration in 41% (n = 495) after an evaluation of the situation and in consultation with professional bodies. More than 2/3 of the respondents (n = 703) made it a priority to use and mandate their patients to practice physical distancing, wearing masks, and hand dis-infection for protection to limit the spread of infection. Conclusion: This global survey provides a real-world assessment of diverse practices that were in various forms of “shut down mode” and circumstances with varying capabilities to deal with COVID. It is unprecedented that the collective wisdom for a curtailment of practice has had an enormous immediate and far reaching implications on the livelihoods of ophthalmologists, their staff, and their families. Nevertheless, ophthalmologists and their staff remain resilient and have adapted to these changes pragmatically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • COVID19
  • PPE
  • ophthalmic surgery
  • outpatient consultations
  • telehealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Ophthalmology

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