Patient preference

How much do we consider patients' preferences in practice, and to what extent should we do so? Also, prescribing contact lenses for patients with out-of-date spectacle prescriptions.

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Published: Autumn 2012

I have just read a very interesting paper from the King’s Fund about patient preferences.It gives instances where, for example, patients' preferences not to have surgery have not been considered, because surgery was considered the ‘right’ treatment (eg for cancer). Clearly, operating on someone who does not want to have surgery (for example because they have not been given the alternative treatment options for one reason or another) is unacceptable, but it made me wonder how much we consider patient preferences in optometric practice. For example, if you examine a patient who is under the hospital eye service (HES) for glaucoma, do you perform fundoscopy, visual fields and measure pressures?

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