The scope of practice of optometry varies dramatically throughout the world. A written survey was developed to collect information about the different modes of practice worldwide and sent to all member countries of the World Council of Optometry. Variables that were examined included whether various eye care professionals tested tor, prescribed, or provided spectacles and contact lenses. Practitioners use of diagnostic pharmaceuticals was included along with information about pharmaceutical treatment of disease. The survey also requested information about whether practitioners performed surgery, removed foreign bodies, and provided vision training/orthoptics. Any age restrictions to patient care, professional licensing and the number of years of formal schooling were also included. Population figures were divided by the number of eye care practitioners to assess the overall practitioner/population ratio in each country. This survey creates an initial database that meets the need for baseline information about the scope of optometry practice worldwide.
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