How practitioners say they answer the questions of patients about ultraviolet protection

Mohammad Alobaid, Mei Ying Boon, Stephen J. Dain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Patients should be able to rely on optometrists and optical dispensers to provide evidence-based answers to their questions on eye protection, including against ultraviolet radiation. Surveys indicate that there is public concern about the need for protection against ultraviolet radiation, particularly in sunlight. This investigation aimed to evaluate the quality of information provided by practitioners in response to typical questions to which they might reasonably be expected to have ready answers. A cross-sectional study was conducted of on-site responses from attendees of a 3 day optical fair, in Sydney, Australia, in 2017. Subjects were not forewarned about the study. The portion of the questionnaire reported here comprised open answers to four questions intended to represent typical enquiries of patients. The questions were about recommendations for ultraviolet protection in the context of 1) computer use, 2) outdoor use, 3) driving and 4) under office lighting. Eighty-three participants returned completed questionnaires out of 140 issued (61% response). The open-answer question responses were grouped into appropriate, borderline (mostly appropriate but mixed with non-UVR related recommendations) and others (mostly non-UVR related recommendations) and by job title. The proportion of appropriate answers to the four questions were 20%, 30%, 12% and 15%, respectively, which did not differ by job title. A significantly higher proportion of optical dispensers than optometrists selected ‘Don’t know/no answer’ for all questions except office use. Eyecare professionals need to be educated on eye protection against UV radiation to improve the quality of information to be given to the public.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-648
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Optometry
Volume105
Issue number6
Early online date17 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

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