Optometry and Vision Sciences - Research Publications

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    THE LIMITED LEVEL OF DIGITAL SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES OF OPTOMETRY STUDENTS
    Nguyen, KP ; Luke, AK ; Cheng, Y ; John, A ; Cham, KM (INFORMING SCIENCE INST, 2022-01-01)
    Aim/Purpose: Digital health is increasingly being utilized in clinical practice given its ease of accessibility, but it lacks emphasis from universities and accreditation bodies. This study attempted to better understand the digital capabilities of optometry students. Background: With technological advancements transforming the Australian workforce and healthcare, there is a growing demand for digitally competent graduates. This study investigated digital perceptions and preferences of optometry students relating to their studies and readiness for work in healthcare. Methodology: Current optometry students participated in an anonymous online survey. Questions were designed to evaluate their understanding and awareness of digital skills and competencies for learning whilst at university, and for use in the health sector workforce. Results were analyzed to underscore key trends and answers to open-ended questions underwent inductive thematic analysis to generate themes for discussion. Contribution: Optometry educators can bridge the gap in digital practices between students and the workplace by obtaining a baseline of their capabilities and incorporating specific activities within the curriculum to increase student awareness and support their understanding and development in this aspect. Findings: Most students were confident in using daily technologies for learning. Reference management software was perceived to be most important and useful skill to attain. While students were less confident in creating applications, they were keen to learn even though it seemed peripheral to their career and professional development. 70% of the students knew how to manage their online privacy and security. Of the students, 92% highlighted that attaining competency in digital skills would enhance their career and professional development, but only 54% believed they possessed the relevant skills for entering the workforce. Only 19% of the students reported having sufficient university support. Recommendations for Practitioners: Digital capabilities of learners do need to be taught explicitly and should not be assumed. To improve student learning outcomes, digital skills and competencies need to be embedded throughout the curriculum and addressed through learning objectives. Recommendation for Researchers: More work needs to be done in implementing digital training and services at a subject, course, and institutional level. Some international benchmarking of optometry curricula and optometry research would clarify the need for digital education, to educators and students alike. Impact on Society: Currently, there is a lack of recognition of digital health by accrediting bodies, thus preventing digital competency from being a priority in the curriculum of schools. There is a further need to establish dialogue between universities, employers, and accrediting bodies to set consistent and realistic expectations of digital skills and competencies. Future Research: Future studies should consider having larger sample sizes to observe similarities and differences in digital capabilities between year levels. Student focus groups and interviews can be performed to better understand the rationale behind the desire and interest to learn digital technologies that seemed irrelevant to optometry.
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    Perception of Coherent Motion in Infantile Nystagmus Syndrome
    Dai, B ; Cham, KM ; Abel, LA (ASSOC RESEARCH VISION OPHTHALMOLOGY INC, 2022-01-01)
    PURPOSE: Research on infantile nystagmus syndrome (INS) and motion perception is limited. We investigated how individuals with INS perform coherent motion tasks. Particularly, we assessed how the null position affects their performance. METHODS: Subjects with INS and controls identified the direction of coherent motion stimuli (22 subjects with INS and 13 controls) in a two-alternative forced-choice design. For subjects with INS, testing was done at the null position and 15 degrees away from it. If there was no null, testing was done at primary gaze position and 15 degrees away from primary. For controls, testing was done at primary gaze position and 20 degrees away from primary. Horizontal and vertical motion coherence thresholds were determined. RESULTS: Subjects with INS showed significantly higher horizontal and vertical motion coherence thresholds compared with controls at both gaze positions (P < 0.001). Within the INS group, for 12 subjects with INS who had an identified null position, no differences in coherence thresholds were found between their null and 15 degrees away from it (P > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Coherent motion perception was impaired in subjects with INS. The null position did not significantly influence motion coherence thresholds for either horizontal or vertical motion.
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    Digital preferences and perceptions of students in health professional courses at a leading Australian university: A baseline for improving digital skills and competencies in health graduates
    Cham, K ; Edwards, M-L ; Kruesi, L ; Celeste, T ; Hennessey, T (Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education, 2022-01-01)
    This study aimed to improve understanding of graduate students’ digital preferences and perceptions to prepare them for work in the digitally enabled health sector. We surveyed 361 students from five disciplines to create a baseline of their digital capabilities. Results show that students were confident in engaging with day-to-day technologies required for discipline-specific learnings and most were reasonably aware of digital privacy and security. However, only 11% of the students reported having sufficient university support and services to develop their digital skills and competencies, and only 39% of the students believed they have the relevant skills for entering the workforce. To improve their understanding in this area, students attended a digital skills and employability workshop that was developed in partnership with teaching specialists, learning and teaching librarians and career services coordinators. Post-workshop findings show that this learning intervention positively impacted students’ understanding of their own digital capabilities and increased their awareness of the importance of this core skill for both the university and the workforce. Teaching staff can use these findings to improve student digital learning in health professional curricula, which will contribute to knowledge transfer and communication with digital health employers.
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    Velocity Discrimination in Infantile Nystagmus Syndrome
    Dai, B ; Cham, KM ; Abel, LA (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, 2021-08)
    Purpose: Research on infantile nystagmus syndrome (INS) and velocity discrimination is limited, and no research has examined velocity discrimination in subjects with INS at their null position and away from it. This study aims to investigate how individuals with INS perform, compared with controls, when carrying out velocity discrimination tasks. Particularly, the study aims to assess how the null position affects their performance. Methods: INS subjects (N = 21, mean age 24 years; age range, 15-34 years) and controls (N = 16, mean age 26 years; age range, 22-39 years) performed horizontal and vertical velocity discrimination tasks at two gaze positions. Eighteen INS subjects were classified as idiopathic INS and three had associated visual disorders (two had oculocutaneous albinism, and one had congenital cataract). For INS subjects, testing was done at the null position and 15° away from it. If there was no null, testing was done at primary gaze position and 15° away from primary. For controls, testing was done at primary gaze position and 20° away from primary. Horizontal and vertical velocity discrimination thresholds were determined and analyzed. Results: INS subjects showed significantly higher horizontal and vertical velocity discrimination thresholds compared with controls at both gaze positions (P < 0.001). Horizontal thresholds for INS subjects were elevated more than vertical thresholds (P < 0.0001) for INS subjects but not for controls. Within the INS group, 12 INS subjects who had an identified null position showed significantly lower horizontal and vertical thresholds at the null than at 15° away from it (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Velocity discrimination was impaired in INS subjects, with better performance at the null. These findings could assist in understanding how INS affects the daily activities of patients in tasks involving moving objects, and aid in developing new clinical visual function assessments for INS.
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    Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy
    Cham, K ; Wang, J ; Thanh, N (Optometrists Association Australia, 2019-12-03)
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    Surgical interventions for infantile nystagmus syndrome (Protocol)
    Cham, KM ; Abel, LA ; Busija, L ; Kowal, L ; Bachar Zipori, A ; Downie, LE (Wiley, 2019)
    This is a protocol for a Cochrane Review (Intervention). The objectives are as follows: To assess the efficacy and safety of surgical interventions for infantile nystagmus syndrome (INS).
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    OCT-A and delayed-onset traumatic macular oedema
    Cham, K (Optometry Australia, 2019-06-03)
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    A digital resource to assess clinical competency
    Cham, KM ; Cochrane, AL (WILEY, 2020-04-01)
    BACKGROUND: Objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) are integral to clinical competency-based assessment in health care disciplines. Traditional paper-based OSCEs require considerable administration time and students typically receive an assessment outcome with minimal feedback. We developed and implemented an iPad-based OSCE assessment system in optometry that delivered timely and specific e-feedback. METHODS: The electronic assessment system contains all of the features of a paper-based OSCE format, including a checklist score, a global score section and pre-written feedback. It was trialed in a year-3 OSCE assessment. We evaluated students and examiners' perceptions of this digital resource via surveys and focus group interviews. RESULTS: Over 90% of the students reported that the e-feedback was timely, facilitated self-reflection and was appropriate for assessment. Students' focus group interviews highlighted the importance of the timeliness of feedback, and students found both verbal and written feedback useful. All examiners were satisfied with the features of the assessment system and felt confident using it for assessment. DISCUSSION: The iPad-based OSCE assessment system has enabled timely feedback to be delivered efficiently. This study has provided a model of what constitutes good e-feedback. The technology was well received by both students and examiners. It has helped to close the assessment loop by delivering usable and developmental feedback to meet students' learning needs.
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    Posterior Cerebral Artery Infarct with Haemorrhagic Transformation
    Cham, K ; Wang, J (SciDoc Publishers, 2017)
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    Using technology to enhance student learning and clinical teaching outcomes
    CHAM, K ; Cochrane, A (Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, 2017-03-10)