Calculating risk in glaucoma

January 8, 2009

Using a risk calculator might impact ocular hypertension treatment options, concluded a study published in the December 2008 issue of the Journal of Ophthalmology.

Using a risk calculator might impact ocular hypertension treatment options, concluded a study published in the December 2008 issue of the Journal of Ophthalmology.

Michael V. Boland, MD, PhD of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, US and colleagues used the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study to create two scenarios with equal risk of glaucoma development, only one of which included an estimate of glaucoma risk. The team then asked glaucoma specialists to review the scenarios and make treatment recommendations, and compared the differences in these recommendations based on whether glaucoma risk had previously been identified.

The researchers found that the presence of the glaucoma risk calculator increased the specialists' confidence and consistency in their own treatment recommendations. The physicians evaluated risk factors differently based on the presence or absence of the risk calculator.

Thus the researchers concluded that presence of a risk calculator altered treatment recommendations to the extent that specialists were more reassured about their recommendations when a risk calculator was available.