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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 223-229

Impact of a cross-cultural, inter-professional, ocular disease themed international elective for australian optometry students – A pilot study

Department of Ophthalmology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jeyanth Suresh Rose
Department of Ophthalmology, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 002, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cmi.cmi_67_21

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Background: International electives provide students an opportunity to experience diversity in educational content and the impact of social settings on health-care delivery. Primary eye care provided by optometrists is a crucial aspect of the ocular health chain. Optometrists play a large role in the early diagnosis and prevention of ocular diseases. Knowledge and skill acquisition in ocular diagnostics involving a spectrum of diseases that students have fairly limited exposure to in Urban Australian settings would go a long way in ensuring the wholeness of the optometry curriculum. Methods: The International Elective in Tropical Eye Disease and Community Eye care (TEDCE), based in a tertiary teaching eye hospital in South India, intended to impart this body of knowledge. This study is an educational-program evaluation study that assessed the change in knowledge, skills, and attitude of 10 International Optometry Students before and after TEDCE. Knowledge and skill were measured using multiple choice questions (MCQS) and objectively structured clinical examination (OSCE). Attitude OSCEs was quantified using the the readiness for inter-professional learning scale questionnaire. Results: The pretest MCQ showed a mean score of 44.40 ± 6.22 and posttest MCQ improved to 51.80 ± 3.85. Similarly, the pretest OSCE showed a mean score of 7.10 ± 1.52 and posttest OSCE improved to 12.05 ± 2.58. Qualitative questionnaire analysis indicated that students had better chance to understand interprofessional benefits and limitations. Conclusion: The analysis of the results indicates a positive impact of intervention with respect to knowledge, skills, and attitude gained.

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