Objective: The goal of this study was to understand and categorize the patients seen by interns at several Pacific University College of Optometry clinics.
Methods: We performed a retrospective study of the files contained within 3 of the 5 Pacific University affiliated clinics that have ongoing patient care. 300 patient records were reviewed at the largest clinic, Forest Grove, 205 from the downtown Portland clinic, and 100 from the Virginia Garcia clinic. Information was collected on patient demographics, chief complaint, symptoms and disorders, the 21-point exam and clinical diagnoses.
Results: Demographically all three clinics show patient bases of equal numbers of females and males. The Virginia Garcia clinic was 95 % Hispanic whereas the other two clinics showed smaller ethnic/minority population proportions. The most common reasons patients came to our clinics was for a regular eye checkup, blurred vision near, far or both. The third most common reason overall, and the most common for Virginia Garcia patients, was for diseases-like symptoms. The most common complaints checked on the intake form were blurred vision, headaches and irritated eyes. Both Portland and Forest Grove patient files reported myopia as the most prevalent type of ametropia whereas in Virginia Garcia; emmetropia was the most prevalent. The study also found that although Pacific University teaches the 21-point eye exam, interns do not seem to gather enough information on what is termed" complete eye exams" to make conclusive diagnoses of binocular disorders. Furthermore, although one of the goals of this study was to describe the demographics of the clinic's patient populations, the amount of information collected from the patient records was limited.
Conclusion: The study shows that Virginia Garcia has a large Hispanic component and that their chief complaints are more often disease oriented than for blurry vision. Also our study indicates that Vision Therapy should be offered in English and in Spanish at either the Virginia Garcia and Forest Grove clinic at least once a week since there is greater amount of amblyopia found in these clinics. Lastly, training at Pacific University and each of the affiliated clinics should stress more the importance of collecting complete information during patient interviews and eye exams.
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