Background: To describe self-reported patterns of care for glaucoma of ophthalmologists in Australia and New Zealand and summarize current practice styles and patterns associated with glaucoma management.
Methods: A questionnaire of glaucoma management practices was mailed to all ophthalmologists registered with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists in June 2003. The questionnaire assessed practice preferences for medical management, examination techniques and indications for surgery. The results were cross-tabulated by age, country and subspecialty training in glaucoma.
Results: Fifty-one per cent of 761 surveys were returned, 14% being from glaucoma specialists. New Zealand ophthalmologists proceeded to surgical management of glaucoma earlier than did their Australian colleagues. Australian ophthalmologists tended to use argon laser trabeculoplasty more frequently. Ninety-six per cent of ophthalmologists routinely use gonioscopy in diagnosing glaucoma. Disc drawings and recording cup:disc ratios were the most commonly used methods of documenting disc morphology; glaucoma specialists were more likely to use imaging technologies. SITA-Standard 24-2 was the most commonly used modality of perimetry, and was favoured by glaucoma specialists.
Conclusions: This survey represents the first Australian and New Zealand effort to identify glaucoma management practices. Although a substantial consensus was found in most areas of treatment, a few areas showed diversity. The information gathered will enable ophthalmologists to compare their own practices with those of their colleagues. In addition, this survey provides a baseline allowing future trends in management to be determined.