Dispensing interactive 2

Closing Date: 28/08/2022

Optometrists Dispensing Opticians Interactive Professionalism

Last week, Optician published a CPD feature focusing on the importance of being able to answer questions honestly and with due regard to the certainty of any knowledge they are imparting, especially with regards to risk.1 By way of examples of where this might be a challenge, the authors listed a few examples which might be considered likely to elicit a variety of answers influenced by opinion and viewpoint. These included: ‘Will wearing glasses make my eyes worse?’ ‘Do vitamins for AMD really work?’ ‘Should I be worried about blue light?’

The authors went on: ‘Contrary to popular belief there is a right answer to all these questions. The right answer is to give an honest appraisal of what the research evidence actually says and to stress that we can never guarantee that a particular course of action will definitely produce the desired result in a given individual. We can, however, outline the risks that the research identifies and quantify the odds of success versus adverse outcomes.’

The aim of this interactive exercise is to focus on just such a question and to encourage both the use of appropriate evidence searching and also the application of critical analyses of published data. The original article will serve as the source material and can be linked to on the website.

Case Scenario for Discussion

You attend an evening of CPD locally during which you hear a lecture from a local ophthalmologist concerning the management of patients at risk of a retinal detachment. Much of the lecture emphasised the importance of identifying ‘red flag’ symptoms and significant pre-disposing risk factors.

Unsurprisingly, there was much reference to floaters, both during the lecture and again in the subsequent Q&A. As time ran out and people started to think about their journeys home, the speaker let slip the following: ‘You will have heard recently, of course, that people can reduce the number of floaters they have by nutritional supplementation.’

For your discussions, consider the following questions:

  1. Using the various searches discussed in the source material, cite one published paper that implies a link between vitreous floaters and nutrition.
  2. Make a critical appraisal of the paper you cite in question 1. Is it a scientific study or an opinion piece? If the former, how rigorous is it (think about methodology, sample size, variable and so on)? If the latter, how independent is the viewpoint?

Remember that, for this exercise, the point is not whether or not there is a valid link between nutrition and floaters. Rather, the aim is to encourage your use of online searches and to think about how valid any claims concerning the link might be in any specific publication.

Interactive CPD Instructions

In order to be able to log one provider-led interactive CPD point to your MyCPD account, this is what you need to do:

  • Make sure you have read the article ‘Fundamentals of ophthalmic dispensing 28’ by Tina Arbon Black and Peter Black (course C102847, published 08.07.2022)
  • Arrange a time to undertake a discussion on the subject with a similarly qualified registrant; another optometrist or dispensing optician.
  • Read the case scenario and questions (above) and use them as the basis for the discussion with your colleague. Note, the discussion needs to address each of the questions outlined above and must be for longer than ten minutes
  • When finished, you then need to send an email to
  • ‘opticiancpd@markallengroup.com’ as follows;
  • Subject box should state ‘Dispensing Interactive 2’
  • Please state your name and GOC number
  • Please state the name and GOC number of the person you discussed the matter with
  • Please confirm you had read the source material
  • Please include a summary of your discussion, explaining your views and thoughts on each of the three discussion questions
  • Each submission will be read individually and, where needed, feedback will be given directly. Where the submission meets a required standard, you will receive an email confirming this, which you can then use as evidence of completion allowing you to log one distance learning interactive CPD point.
  • A summary of the responses and discussions will appear in a future issue of Optician with comment from the authors. 

Source Material

  1. Arbon Black T, Black P. Fundamentals of ophthalmic dispensing – 28. Evidence informed and reflective practice of ophthalmic dispensing. Optician, 08.07.2022.