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Knowledge-based systems, Decision support, Glaucoma management



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Primary open-angle glaucoma is a common disease afflicting 1% to 2% of people older than 50 years of age. The care of patients with glaucoma is a subject of debate because the disease is incompletely understood. The diagnosis relies on a number of examinations, many of them performed by opthalmic nurses, and the care of patients with glaucoma has become one of the main tasks for opthalmic nurses in Sweden.


This study describes a knowledge-based system for decision support in glaucoma management, which uses seven data elements about the patient to arrive at one of 25 different recommendations for appropriate action. In 267 patient visits to five different eye clinics, the program recommendations were compared with the actual decisions made by the responsible physician. The concordance was 92% to 100% when policy differences among the clinics were taken into account.


The program appears to provide substantial decision support in the management of primary open-angle glaucoma. The program's ability to support the ophthalmic nurses in the care of patients with open-angle glaucoma is being evaluated.