Patient-centred measurement in ophthalmology – a paradigm shift
NHMRC Centre for Clinical Eye Research, Department of Ophthalmology, Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University, Bedford Park, South Australia, 5042, Australia
BMC Ophthalmology 2006, 6:25 doi:10.1186/1471-2415-6-25Published: 15 June 2006
Ophthalmologists and researchers in ophthalmology understand what a rapidly evolving field ophthalmology is, and that to conduct good research it is essential to use the latest and best methods. In outcomes research, one modern initiative has been to conduct holistic measurement of outcomes inclusive of the patient's point of view; patient-centred outcome. This, of course, means including a questionnaire. However, the irony of trying to improve outcomes research by being inclusive of many measures is that the researcher may not be expert in all measures used. Certainly, few people conducting outcomes research in ophthalmology would claim to be questionnaire experts. Most tend to be experts in their ophthalmic subspecialty and probably simply choose a popular questionnaire that appears to fit their needs and think little more about it. Perhaps, unlike our own field, we assume that the field of questionnaire research is relatively stable. This is far from the case. The measurement of patient-centred outcomes with questionnaires is a rapidly evolving field. Indeed, over the last few years a paradigm shift has occurred in patient-centred measurement.