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The Administrative Data Research Network is an ESRC-funded project that ran from October 2013 - July 2018. It is currently at the end of its funding cycle and is no longer taking applications. Administrative data research will be taken forward in a new project, to be launched later in 2018.

Social factors influencing uptake of free eye examinations in Northern Ireland

Research overview

The research team aims to investigate the influences of a range of social factors along with indicators of health, living arrangements and area of residence on uptake of free eye examinations among the over 60s, in order to improve patient prognosis and reduce treatment costs.


Public benefit

Chronic eye conditions place a heavy burden on the individuals and families affected and on healthcare providers. Identifying groups and areas associated with low uptake of free eye examinations will help to identify ways of increasing uptake, to improve people’s eye health.


More about the project

Chronic eye conditions (e.g. glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration - AMD) place a heavy burden on the individuals and families affected and on healthcare providers. Free annual eye examinations (provided by community optometrists) aimed at early detection of ocular and other chronic conditions are available for people aged 60 and over in Northern Ireland. Early detection is likely to significantly improve patient prognosis and reduce treatment costs for many of these conditions.

We aim to investigate the influences of a range of social factors along with indicators of health, living arrangements and area of residence on uptake of free eye examinations among the over 60s.

Contextual data drawn from the 2011 Census, measured at the individual, household and area levels will be linked with records of individual attendance at free eye examinations over a five year period surrounding the 2011 Census. The project will pay particular attention to groups identified in previous studies as having low participation in routine health screening and we will also investigate whether area of residence has an additional influence on uptake.

Identification of groups and areas associated with low uptake of free eye examinations is a first step towards designing interventions to increase uptake with the aim of ameliorating the impact of common conditions on the ocular health of the general population.


Government departments

Data from the Office from National Statistics


Date approved

April 2016


Project team

Dr David Wright, Queen’s University Belfast, Administrative Data Research Centre – Northern Ireland

Professor Augusto Azuara-Blanco, Queen’s University Belfast 

Dr Dermot O’Reilly, Queen’s University Belfast, Administrative Data Research Centre – Northern Ireland

Dr Ruth Hogg, Queen’s University Belfast


Page last updated: 24/10/2017