Original Research

Optometry student clinical practice at public health facilities: A systematic review

Raserogole F. Segooa, Vanessa R. Moodley
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 29 | a2441 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v29i0.2441 | © 2024 Raserogole F. Segooa, Vanessa R. Moodley | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 May 2023 | Published: 22 March 2024

About the author(s)

Raserogole F. Segooa, Department of Optometry, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Vanessa R. Moodley, Department of Optometry, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


Background: Clinical training, supervision and practice are the most important aspects of health profession education, including optometry. Institutions implore various methods for students to gain access, exposure and experience in different clinical environments, away from their normal academic settings.

Aim: This review aimed to investigate studies and related documentary evidence to determine existing standards and methods for educational institutions in conducting optometry clinical training at the external sites.

Setting: The electronic databases – ProQuest One, Scopus, EBSCOhost, Sabinet, Science Direct and Google Scholar – were searched systematically for studies on the implementation of workplace clinical training of undergraduate optometry students.

Methods: The study followed the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) systematic review methodology and a systematic search of various electronic databases was conducted for studies on implementation of workplace clinical training. Of the 450 full-text studies searched, 13 studies were found to be reputable sources of evidence and were included in this systematic review.

Results: Four themes relating to student clinical training emerged, namely, clinical training approaches implemented, expected minimum standards at the training sites, clinical training environment wherein students and supervisors find themselves and clinical competence of the supervisors and students. They encompass important factors to consider in the planning and provision of quality, efficient and effective student clinical supervision at the external training facilities.

Conclusion: There is a dearth of scholarly studies to guide clinical training of optometry training within the public health sector. However, more studies are undertaken in other health disciplines, and they provide generic guidelines, which can be adapted for optometry.

Contribution: The article highlights the need for further studies in optometry student clinical training, focussing on programme designs and standardisation of clinical training in multi-institutional, low-income contexts.


clinical supervision; optometry; student clinical practice standards; student clinical training; student clinical training facilities

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education


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