Anti‐VEGF intravitreal injections improve or stabilize visual acuity in a number of prevalent, previously untreatable eye diseases, including AMD, retinal vein occlusion (RVO) and diabetic macular edema (DME). The rising demand for these injections is causing strain on ophthalmology offices worldwide. In an attempt to alleviate this burden, researchers investigated the effect of delegating the procedure to nurses and found no increased risk to patients’ visual function. 

The study evaluated 259 Norwegian patients with AMD, RVO or DME who were administered anti-VEGF injections by a nurse or a physician. The primary outcome measure was the change in best‐corrected acuity from baseline to one year of follow‐up. The mean difference in the primary outcome between the groups was analyzed by a non-inferiority test with a margin of three letters in disfavor of the nurse group.

The team found that nurse‐administered anti-VEGF injections were non-inferior to physician‐administered injections, with 0.7 and 1.6 letters gained, respectively. They recorded 2,077 injections and three ocular adverse events.

Bolme S, Morken TS, Follestad T, et al. Task shifting of intraocular injections from physicians to nurses: a randomized single-masked noninferiority study. Acta Ophthalmologica. July 3, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].