Research activity

Our research projects

Our research projects

Project Øyenstikker (literally: "Eye Piercer", Norwegian for dragonfly) was carried out in 2014-2023 as a task-shifting project at the Department of Ophthalmology at St. Olavs Hospital. We conducted a randomized controlled trial and concluded that nurses can perform eye surgery with the same good results as doctors. The operation involves injecting a medicine into the patient's eye, hence the name 'dragonfly'. The results have been published in the journal Acta Ophthalmologica and are publicly available.

This is the most common operation performed in ophthalmology today. At St. Olav's Hospital alone, more than 7,000 such operations are performed annually. Since the results of the study became available, nurses at the Department of Ophthalmology at St. Olav's Hospital have taken over all these operations that were previously performed by doctors. This saves the hospital considerable medical resources. The training program we used in the study is quality assured. You can read about the program and the nurses' satisfaction with the training and the new tasks here.

A cost analysis was also conducted that shows that the hospital saves money on this task shifting in addition to freeing up the doctors to perform other tasks. You can read the article about the cost analysis here.

Stine Bolme was a PhD fellow in Project Dragonfly and defended her thesis in November 2022.

Go to the project website

Observe-and-Plan (OnP) is the name of a treatment strategy for the retinal disease Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). This new strategy involves long-term plans for patients and fewer check-ups. A pilot study we conducted in 2017-18 showed that patients who switched treatment strategies were more satisfied after switching to OnP than before.

Through a randomized controlled trial (RCT), we are now testing whether the strategy provides as good treatment results as the standard strategy (Treat-and-Extend) in patients with newly diagnosed disease. We are investigating visual outcome, patient satisfaction and potential savings for the healthcare system. The study is a collaboration between NTNU, St. Olavs hospital and the eye departments in Bodø, Molde, Ålesund and Elverum. Margrete Sætre Hanssen is a PhD fellow in the project.

Visuopathy of Prematurity - Is Retinopathy of Prematurity Just the Tip of the Iceberg? is a project that has received funding from NFR FRIPRO.

We investigate causes of visual dysfunction following preterm birth. Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) explains only a small proportion of these visual problems and might be just the tip of the iceberg of an entity we call Visuopathy of Prematurity (VOP). We will search and define the VOP footprint via detailed in vivo imaging of retinal and choroideal tissue, automated analyses of retina applying artificial intelligence techniques, combined with electrophysiological testing of the retinal and cerebral visual axis and association with clinical outcomes.

Project leader: Tora Sund Morken

The Norwegian Quality Register for Retinopathy of Prematurity, NOKROP, is a national register of retinal changes (retinopathy) associated with premature birth. The registry is part of the Norwegian Quality Register for Neonatal Medicine (NNK), which is part of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The NNK website contains information about the register and a movie about the eye examination.

NOKROP was introduced on January 1, 2017, and the plan is for all eye departments that screen premature babies for retinopathy to enter their data in the register. The purpose of the register is to gain knowledge about the prevalence of ROP, the course of the disease and to quality assure screening and treatment of the disease in Norway. In 2018, two medical students wrote their thesis on ROP in Norway in the years 2007-2017. They found regional differences in the incidence of the disease.

We are now going further and studying the cause of these differences with the PhD project "Optimizing examination and treatment for infants with retinopathy of prematurity in Norway" by research fellow Kyrre Moljord.