A review of evidence to evaluate effectiveness of intervention strategies to address inequalities in eye health care

Title: A review of evidence to evaluate effectiveness of intervention strategies to address inequalities in eye health care.

Authors: Mark R D Johnson, Vinette Cross, Mark O Scase, Ala Szczepura, Diane Clay, Wesley Hubbard, Keith Claringbull, Philippa Simkiss and Shaun Leamon; Publisher: RNIB and De Montfort University; Year of publication: 2012

Background

In 2010, RNIB commissioned Mary Seacole Research Centre (MSRC) at De Montfort University to undertake a review of the evidence relating to the causes of inequalities in eye health, and interventions to reduce inequalities, with particular reference to ethnicity, age, and socio-economic deprivation. The focus was on preventive activity in relation to specified eye conditions (glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macula degeneration (AMD) and cataract) and interventions designed to improve eye health outcomes.This report presents the findings of the review and provides avenues of interest for the development of intervention strategies to address inequalities in eye health care.

Key findings

The review found that the majority of studies into inequality in eye health have concentrated on the needs of those found to have sight loss and the maintenance of their quality of life, or on treatments, rather than on the potential to prevent sight loss through earlier detection. Previous research consistently points towards targeted interventions and specific approaches. However, they often have differing levels of evaluation. Certain interventions recur as recommendations from research, or as the focus of short-term projects expected to bring about change. These include:   

  • Awareness raising and information provision via targeted media campaigns    
  • The use of Eye Health Champions    
  • Motivational Interviewers or other forms of Personal Support    
  • Professional Development and Training of Service delivery staff    
  • Structural Changes in service delivery