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Aussie-led dry eye registry paints fuller picture of disease landscape

Eyecare professionals are being reminded to participate in a new dry eye registry, led by Sydney’s Save Sight Institute (SSI), that will help the industry better determine the long-term effectiveness and safety of treatments.

The Save Sight Dry Eye Registry was launched in November 2020 and is now utilised by 31 clinicians from 26 sites.

It is said to be the world’s first international, interdisciplinary dry eye registry. Its international steering committee is led by Professor Stephanie Watson, of The University of Sydney’s SSI.

With the prevalence of dry eye ranging from 5% to 50% worldwide – occurring more frequently in women and the elderly – it is considered a growing public health concern due to its impact on quality of life, despite the availability of multiple treatments. Mask wear during COVID-19 has exacerbated symptoms.

Prof Stephanie Watson.

Despite the therapies, devices and surgical procedures developed for dry eye, few have been evaluated using post-market surveillance, the SSI reported

“Clinical registries are beginning to play significant roles in healthcare decision making as they are able to collect real-world data over longer periods of time,” Watson said.

“Critically, they are able to determine the long-term effectiveness and safety of treatments for dry eye.”

The Save Sight Dry Eye Registry will allow clinicians to anonymously enter information into the registry that relates to multiple aspects of dry eye management, including the treatments used, individual patient-reported outcomes and adverse reactions.

This information is expected to have positive outcomes for patients, clinicians, government health institutions and industry.

Professor Fiona Stapleton, from the School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW Sydney, added: “The registry will help to understand the natural history of dry eye, to predict those patients who are at a higher risk of more severe disease and to tailor treatment for individual patients.”

Prof Fiona Stapleton.

The registry generates a patient education tool in the form of a patient graph. This assists clinicians to monitor and individualise patient treatments over time and allows the patient to become more involved in their treatment journey. Once established, the registry will be able to evaluate the clinical and patient-reported outcomes from emerging therapies.

It also allows patients to complete online patient reported outcome questionnaires such as the Ocular Surface Disease index, and clinicians to grade surface staining efficiently.

“In my practice this has really helped me to determine which patients would be suitable for the newer therapies on the market, as these data may be needed for authority approval,” Watson said.

Dr Maria Cabrera-Aguas recently featured the registry in the Sydney Eye Podcast. She commented on how the registry was developed, its advantages and how ophthalmologists and optometrists can request access to use it.

Interested in joining the registry?

  • Request access here and click ‘request access’. Participants will be asked to complete a brief training session before being granted access to the registries.

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