Background: Unmet expectations are a major cause of client dissatisfaction, yet very little is known about the expectations and health values that clients in optometry practice hold about having an eye examination and purchasing spectacles. This study identified different attitudes and behaviours held by presbyope clients in optometric practices.
Method: A total of 158 presbyope clients, recruited from 14 practices, completed a questionnaire which was developed from the theory of planned behaviour. The questionnaire examined attitudes towards spectacles and visiting the optician, motivation to visit the optician, perceptions of barriers to attending the opticians, information requirements, and preferences for shared decision-making. Responses were analysed using principal components analysis.
Results and conclusions: Four factors were identified, which were labelled style, vision, avoiding and seeking. Style is concerned with the importance of appearing fashionable or stylish, and desiring approval from others. Vision relates to clients' attitudes towards obtaining clear vision and to maintaining healthy eyesight. Avoiding describes the perceived difficulties associated with visiting the optician and purchasing new spectacles. Seeking corresponds to the desire for information on the technical details of lenses. Practitioners could use these characteristics to tailor information to meet the needs and address the expectations of individual clients. This may make the information provided more personally relevant, and could enhance client satisfaction.