About the partnership
Despite on-going research activity in the UK and other countries, there are still many questions about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sight loss and eye conditions that remain unanswered. Given that resources for research are limited, it is important for research funders to understand how patients, carers and eye health professionals prioritise these unanswered questions so that future research can be targeted accordingly.
The Sight Loss and Vision Priority Setting project has been independently overseen by the James Lind Alliance, a non-profit making initiative, which specialises in bringing patients, carers and health care professionals together to identify and prioritise unanswered questions about existing and potential treatments, diagnosis and prevention measures that they agree are most important. The James Lind Alliance is internationally recognised as an authoritative and independent organisation in guiding work and ensuring an unbiased result, giving equal weighting to the views of patients, carers and health professionals. The James Lind Alliance is funded by the National Institute for Health Research.
Why have we done this?
In the UK it is estimated that almost 2 million people are affected by sight loss and this number is expected to double by 2050. Currently the sight loss affecting half of people in the UK is avoidable and half is not. Whether it is to address childhood conditions or those affecting adults, research is needed to inform us about prevention, to develop new techniques for early diagnosis and to develop new and more effective treatments.
The Sight Loss and Vision Priority Setting Partnership gives us a set of unanswered questions prioritised by patients, carers and eye health professionals. These can be used to encourage researchers to investigate what is most important to these groups. Research funders will be able to use the list to identify research applications which will answer questions that these groups have agreed are a priority.
The Sight Loss and Vision Priority Setting Partnership will also help to increase awareness of why research into sight loss and vision is necessary and important. It will be used to campaign for major funders to invest in sight loss and eye conditions, as there will have been an independent process to identify what research is necessary and relevant.