Referral patterns in optometry: Use of secondary consultation/comanagement centers by optometrists

Harris Lee Nussenblatt, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Privately practicing health care practitioners, such as physicians, dentists, and optometrists are facing increasing competitive pressures as the health care industry undergoes significant structural change. The eye care field has been affected by this change and one result has been the establishment of consultation/comanagement centers for optometrists. These centers, staffed primarily by an ophthalmologist, serve community optometrists as a secondary ophthalmic care center and are altering the traditional optometric - ophthalmologic referral system. This study was designed to examine the response of optometrists to the formation of a center by measuring the amount and type of optometric participation in a center and identifying factors affecting participation. A predictive model was specified to determine the probability of center use by practitioners. The results showed that the establishment of a center in a community did not result in its usage by all practitioners though there were specific practice (organizational) and practitioners (decision-maker) variables that could be used to predict use. Three practice variables and four practitioner variables were found to be important in influencing center use.

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Nussenblatt, Harris Lee, "Referral patterns in optometry: Use of secondary consultation/comanagement centers by optometrists" (1987). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI8809917.