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The evaluation of the modes into a guiding structure for integrated optics is successfully approached with a suitable formulation of the problem. The actual guide is considered as a perturbation of a simpler structure (unperturbed guide) with known modal characteristics. By coupling the continuous and discrete modes of the unperturbed structure, an integral equation is obtained which can be handled numerically through the alternative use of the moment method or of continuous spectrum discretization. Numerical results are presented for some one-dimensional problems and successfully compared with those obtained with different theoretical approaches.