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- systematically review the Australian and international literature between 1996 and 2006, encompassing a broad range of relevant disciplines, including medicine, psychology, sociology and health promotion
- examine the evidence relating to the validity of risk or causal factors for eye disease and injury, such as tobacco, alcohol, nutrition, infections, age or ageing, ultraviolet (UV) damage, injury and medication side effects
- consider the evidence to support (or otherwise) regular eye tests and the optimal recommended frequency of regular eye tests for different age groups, and the specific needs of at-risk groups in Australia, namely:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- older people
- people with diabetes
- people with a family history of eye disease
- include levels and grades of evidence as set out in A Guide to the Development, Evaluation and Implementation of Clinical Practice Guidelines (NHMRC 1999) and additional levels of evidence and grades for recommendations for external developers of guidelines (NHMRC 2007)
- ensure that the systematic review of the literature conforms to the NHMRC standards as outlined in the NHMRC publications How to Review the Evidence: Systematic Identification and Review of Scientific Literature (1999) and How to Use the Evidence: Assessment and Application of Scientific Evidence (2000).
- In commissioning this literature review, the NHMRC specified the following tasks:
The methods used to achieve these tasks are described in Chapter 3; the search strategy is given in Appendix 2.