Table 1

Summary of clinical scenarios

Potential diagnosisDescription of scenario given in survey
Scenario 1—eye mildly red and gritty
Dry eye diseaseOver the previous week you have noted that your right eye feels gritty as though you have sand in it. The eye looks minimally red, it is not sticky and your vision is unaffected. You have not experienced these symptoms before.
Scenario 2—eye red, sticky and blurred
ConjunctivitisOver the previous week your right eye is red and sticky. It is slightly uncomfortable and your vision is slightly blurred, but not all the time. You have not experienced these symptoms before.
Scenario 3—eye red, painful, photophobia, sticky, blurred, white spot
Microbial keratitisOver the previous 2 days your right eye is red, painful and sensitive to light. It is sticky and your vision is blurred. You also notice there is a white area on your eye. You have not experienced these symptoms before.
Scenario 4—painless loss of vision
Retinal detachment/retinal vascular occlusionOver the previous day the vision in your right eye becomes very blurred. The eye is NOT red, painful or sticky. You have not experienced these symptoms before.
Scenario 5—rectal bleeding
Bowel cancerOver the previous week you visit the bathroom and notice that there is blood in your stools. This has happened several times over the last couple of weeks. Recently, you’ve been going to the toilet more often and have had some diarrhoea. You have also noticed that you have been losing weight, which is unusual because your appetite has been normal, and you have not been exercising more than normal. You are also feeling run down and very tired.
Scenario 6—chest pain
AnginaOver the previous week whenever you undertake physical activity you experience a pain across your chest. The pain feels like a heaviness and tightness in the chest area. You also experience light-headedness and a slight shortness of breath. The symptoms subside after a few minutes, but start again when you engage in strenuous activities or when you experience emotional upset and stress.