A partnership promoting eye health and vision care

Vision Initiative pilot projects

In 2012-15, the Vision Initiative successfully tested a novel three-tiered approach to reduce avoidable blindness and vision loss in four local government areas (LGAs) where populations were considered at increased risk of eye disease.

This three-tiered approach was delivered via pilot projects in the four LGAs of Darebin, Greater Geelong, Greater Shepparton and Latrobe.

Differing interventions were implemented in each pilot project area to determine the effectiveness of differing engagement strategies with health professionals and community.

Activity delivered included training and development of primary health professionals, delivering activity to people at-risk of eye disease and local media campaigns to raise awareness of eye health and vision care.

An evaluation of the Vision Initiative Pilot Projects has now been completed. While positive results were seen across all four pilot project areas, the evaluation identified Greater Shepparton as the most effective.

Health professionals (GPs, practice nurses and pharmacists) increased referrals (formal and informal) of patients to optometry services for an eye examination and community were more proactive in having an eye examination.

Key success factors included:

  • Strong relationship development with the Medicare Local, Primary Care Partnership and Local Council improved engagement with health professionals and community.
  • Face-to-face activities (distribution of information and training) with health professionals yielded better engaged practices.
  • Local media campaigns on TV, radio, poster distribution and billboards are supported by health professionals and community as effective means of communicating eye health messages to the public.

The three-tiered approach applied to Greater Shepparton has provided population-level change with health providers integrating eye health into their practices and community becoming more proactive about their eye health.

For full results, download the Vision Initiative Evaluation Report 2012-2015 (PDF).

This success story provides clear direction on how the Vision Initiative will implement further activity across Victoria in areas most in need.