Impact of COVID‑19 on Indian optometrists: A student, educator, and practitioner’s perspective

Sehgal, Shivalika and Shinde, Lakshmi and Madheswaran, Gopinath and Mukherjee, Paula and Verkicharla, Pavan and Easwaran, Soumya and Bandamwar, Kalika (2021) Impact of COVID‑19 on Indian optometrists: A student, educator, and practitioner’s perspective. Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, 69 (4). pp. 958-963. ISSN 0301-4738

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The optometry profession has experienced massive changes amid lockdown in COVID 19 pandemic. This study gauges the impact of COVID-19 on optometry education and practices in India. Methods: The impact of COVID-19 among key stakeholders of Indian optometry that included educators, students, and practitioners was surveyed. The content validity of the survey tool was achieved through a focused group discussion with experts. Results: Of the 1408 responses, 118 were educators, 845 were students and 445 were practitioners. Post COVID-19 lock-down, a high percentage of students (96%) and educators (94%) were now using online mode of education to learn and teach. The blended learning methods were reported to be used by 81% of educators. Practical skills were the most difficult to teach by educators and to learn by students. Almost a third of the students were concerned about their internships and job opportunities amid the pandemic. Practitioners felt confident in performing routine eye examinations with personal protective equipment (PPE). Telemedicine was found to be adopted by 55% of the private practitioners and 49% of the eye hospitals. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity to reform Indian optometry education through blended learning methods. Optometry practices changed and adapted instantly to the new hygiene norms that have raised the standard of care provided to patients. Telemedicine emerged as a mode of providing care by optometrists. Overall, all key stakeholders of optometry in India were found to have adapted well to the sudden changes due to COVID 19 pandemic.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: : COVID‑19, optometry education, optometry educators, optometry practitioners, optometry students, pandemic impact
Subjects: Allied Health > MCOAHS Manipal > Optometry
Depositing User: MIT Library
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2021 09:45
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2021 09:45

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