Original Research

Adopting the World Health Organization’s eye care competency framework in Saudi healthcare system

Mosaad Alhassan, Ali Almustanyir, Alia Almoajel
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 83, No 1 | a899 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v83i1.899 | © 2024 Mosaad Alhassan, Ali Almustanyir, Alia Almoajel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 October 2023 | Published: 27 May 2024

About the author(s)

Mosaad Alhassan, Department of Optometry, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Ali Almustanyir, Department of Optometry, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Alia Almoajel, Department of Community Health Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Abstract

Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) introduced the Eye Care Competency Framework (ECCF) as a guideline to ensure proper delivery of eye care in healthcare systems. Improving the eye healthcare system in Saudi Arabia is essential to prevent or limit the high rate of ocular morbidity. This may be achieved by enabling optometrists to function as primary eye care providers within the primary eye healthcare system in line with WHO’s framework.

Aim: This study aimed to engage experts in eye healthcare services to explore the possibilities of adopting the WHO’s ECCF in Saudi Arabia’s healthcare system.

Setting: A 2-round Delphi study was conducted by enrolling 19 experts with great knowledge and experience in ocular health from different institutes across Saudi Arabia.

Methods: The experts’ opinions were collected using a 5-point Likert scale during both rounds to determine their opinions regarding the clinical skills of optometrists in Saudi Arabia. Statements reaching a consensus of ≥ 80% were adopted and considered applicable.

Results: The statements were classified into six domains: practice, professionalism, learning and development, management and leadership, community and advocacy, and evidence. All statements were deemed suitable to be adopted and applied to the healthcare system in Saudi Arabia.

Conclusion: This study established the applicability of the ECCF as a universal model and guideline to enable optometrists to function as primary eye care providers.

Contribution: This model can be applied to improve the primary eye healthcare system in other countries.


Keywords

primary eye care; optometry; Saudi Arabia; scope of practice; Delphi study

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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