Public Health Optometry

Research in the Public Health Optometry Research Group is conducted in the following areas:

Eye care delivery
Along with collaborators Brien Holden Vision Institute and Vision CRC, this group is undertaking research in eye care delivery and delivering public health campaigns in many countries worldwide in accordance with the WHO initiative to eliminate avoidable blindness worldwide by 2020. 

Development of refractive error
Through the Vision Education Centre at the School, refractive error and functional vision data are collected on primary school children from the Sydney population. This data has demonstrated that the prevalence of myopia in children of the eastern suburbs in Sydney is the lowest in the western world. This educational and research initiative provides ongoing surveillance on refractive error development in this childhood population. 

Utilisation of eye care in New South Wales
This project examines utilisation of eye care by the general community. The significant proportion of undiagnosed eye disease in the Australian community suggests that many of those who should are not accessing eye care. There is a need to understand barriers to, and enablers of, access to eye care services to better utilise available services. 

Access to eye care by asylum seeker and refugee communities in Australia
Refugees seeking asylum in Australia often have significant general and eye health problems. However, asylum seekers are in many cases not entitled to health care under the Medicare system, and thus reliant on other non-government organisations to provide care. A number of organisations have started schemes which facilitate provision of low-cost eye care to these groups of patients. This project seeks to explore the need for eye care and aims to examine the pathways and availability of eye care to refugees and asylum seekers in the community. We hope that the findings of this research will help to inform future strategies for optimising eye care for these patients.