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This edition of Advances in Eyecare includes interviews with top academics considering the best way to interpret the published literature and evidence base that may influence the way we practice optometry.

Professor Brendan Barrett looks at the various ways literature reviews are undertaken and then explains how he uses the new Cochrane Risk of Bias tool to understand the robustness of published research into the impact of coloured lenses in influencing reading ability.

Dr Catherine Suttle discusses how to assess research using a critical appraisal tool to help decide on whether the outcomes of any research are significant and to what extent. 

Professor Jennifer Craig offers a unique insight into the recently published TFOS DEWS II report which redefines dry eye disease, looks at the evidence base for assessment and management, and is likely to influence our clinical practice with dry eye in years to come.

Last published: December 2018

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    • 1.1.6 Understand the significance of the TFOS DEWS II report in assimilating the evidence base regarding the assessment and management of dry eye disease.
    • 2.5.3 Understand the best way to analyse published literature so to better be able to interpret the latest research findings published and their relevance and impact.
    • 4.1.5 Understand the evidence base concerning the use of coloured lenses in influencing reading ability and how to assess its robustness and significance.
    • 6.1.4 Understand the significance of the TFOS DEWS II report in defining, classifying and influencing the management of dry eye disease.
    • 8.1.1 Understand how to use a critical appraisal tool when interpreting the published literature.
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      Brendan Barrett

      Professor Brendan Barrett, of the University of Bradford, UK, recently co-wrote a review analysing the evidence supporting the use of coloured overlays or lenses for the purpose of improving reading ability. He’s already written a well-received review of behavioural optometry techniques. Each of these reviews looked at the previously published peer-reviewed evidence to reach a conclusion about the validity of the interventions discussed. The more recent paper relied upon the Cochrane risk of bias tool for assessing bias. Here, Professor Barrett discusses review papers and how he was able to reach a conclusion in each case.

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      Catherine Suttle interviewed by Alison Binns 

      Since the end of the 20th century, the Randomised Controlled Trial (or RCT) has been held as the gold standard for all clinical trials, due to its ability to minimise selection bias through randomisation and use of the control group as a point of comparison. Various developments by the CONSORT statement have further improved the reliability of RCTs, but there remains a need to examine and assess any flaws present through constant appraisals of published works. Here to discuss the importance of assessments and Critical Appraisal Tools is Dr Catherine Suttle, senior lecturer in the Division of Optometry and Visual Sciences at City, University of London, UK.

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      Jennifer Craig interviewed by Polly Dulley 

      Dry eye is a common, multifactorial disease and is one of the most frequent causes of patient visits to eye care practitioners. In 2007 the report of the International Dry Eye Workshop, DEWS, was published. It was the product of a team of international experts who spent over 3 years compiling an evidence-based review of the state of research and knowledge of dry eye disease. In May of this year, the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) announced the DEWS II report, which has been designed to achieve global consensus on various aspects of dry eye disease, a decade after the release of the original report. Jennifer Craig, Associate Professor at the University of Auckland School of Medicine, New Zealand, is the Vice Chair of the TFOS DEWS II steering committee. We caught up with her at the British Contact Lens Association Conference in Liverpool, UK, to find out more about the latest report.

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