Editorial: Myopia, dissemination and patient communication

25 March 2022
Volume 23, Issue 1

Our Editor in Chief, Professor Leon Davies FCOptom, the new research on myopia, dissemination and patient communication.

As we begin the General Optical Council’s new continuing professional development (CPD) scheme, I am pleased to share with our readers the latest issue of Optometry in Practice, which contains evidence-based and peer-reviewed CPD content.

Our first article of 2022 follows an earlier paper published by clinical academics, Rakhee Shah and Amy Sheppard. With a focus on dissemination, the latest article guides optometrists in practice-based research. Indeed, the dissemination of research is a key step on the path towards knowledge translation and practice change. Presenting research at professional conferences and meetings through oral and poster presentations allows for rapid dissemination of research findings. The authors suggest that optometrists engaging in clinical or practice-based research should consider publication of their findings in peer-reviewed journals, to ensure their results are permanently and widely available.

They go on to state that, where appropriate, researchers should identify the key messages from the research findings for different targeted audiences.

In recent decades, the prevalence of myopia has risen rapidly to become one of the leading causes of visual disability, globally. Although myopia is hereditary, genetic changes happen too slowly to explain the rapid rise in myopia prevalence over one to two generations. Instead, putative environmental influences related to our changing lifestyles are implicated. In our second paper, Max Gillies, Shelley James and Denize Atan review the hypothesis that different features of natural daylight and artificial lighting like brightness, wavelength and flicker can influence the onset and progression of myopia. Further, the authors explore how this evidence is relevant to optometric practice.

Communication is an essential part of a successful eye care consultation. Effective interactions between practitioner and patient can optimise the outcomes of clinical activities as well as levels of patient satisfaction and comfort. Our final paper, by Helena Webb, Peter Allen, Bruce Evans and Dirk vom Lehn, draws on the results of a series of research studies to identify key communication issues in eye care consultations. In particular, the article highlights the importance of understanding the consultation from the patient perspective and discusses how this understanding can help optometrists recognise patient communication behaviours that can otherwise appear confusing.

I hope you all find this issue’s contributions helpful for your CPD.

Professor Leon Davies PhD BSc(Hons) FCOptom Prof Cert Med Ret

Immediate Past President, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Council Member – West Midlands

Leon Davies is a registered optometrist and Professor of Optometry & Physiological Optics at Aston University. A Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, Leon holds fellowships with the College of Optometrists, the American Academy of Optometry, and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Leadership roles at Aston University include Director of Research (2010-17) and Head of the School of Optometry (2016-21). His clinical research is focused on presbyopia and the restoration of ocular accommodation to the ageing eye.