Qualitative research to understand patient experience during the contact lens teach and aftercare, and how to optimise the experience to help retain patients.

Qualitative research to understand customer experience during the contact lens teach and aftercare, how to optimise the experience to help retain patients.

Amanda Bogers BOptom MCOptom MBA FBCLA
Ben Terrell BSc MBA

Purpose: It is important to understand the experience a patient new to contact lenses (CLs) is going through during CL application and removal training (teach) and how to optimise the teach before, during and after to help maintain retention at this early stage of their CL journey. The CL aftercare is an important appointment to review current lens suitability and maintaining eye health. It is crucial to understand what factors influence the patients experience of the teach and aftercare in order to help retain patients.

Method: Qualitative research was conducted with four group discussions of 90 minutes, held in the UK in May 2019. A total of 30 participants, 12 men and 18 women aged between 22 and 45 years, both new and experienced wearers were split in groups of seven and eight to discuss their experiences.

Results: All participants showed a mix of emotions ranging from excitement to anxiety before the teach. For three out of four participants the teach felt scripted and rushed. Staff seemed uninterested and eager to finish, and for many, the teach was conducted by inexperienced staff in an inappropriate location. Only a quarter of participants had positive experiences. Almost half of wearers felt that the aftercare had benefits for the first couple of appointments but became repetitive and an obligation in order to receive more lenses. These feelings caused a move to other opticians. However, over half of wearers had positive feelings and welcomed the opportunity to have their eye health checked and stay up to date.

Conclusions: These insights show that the teach is an emotional journey. The aftercare is seen as a nuisance especially by experienced wearers. There are opportunities to optimise and tailor both the teach and aftercare to help support successful lens wear and maintain retention, benefitting both wearer and practice.

1st Author Biography: Amanda Bogers BOptom MCOptom MBA FBCLA is a Global Customer Category Manager, CooperVision. Amanda gained a thorough understanding of the optical industry in the Netherlands, South Africa and the UK.  Amanda uses her extensive experience to develop and build strategic training programs to support ECPs and front of house staff and has an intimate understanding of their specific needs. Prior to joining CooperVision, Amanda developed her clinical skills and obtained customer and consumer insight as an optometrist and manager in optometric practices.  Since completing an MBA, Amanda has further enhanced her business skills through different roles within the optical industry.

*Data correct at the time of submission to BCLA by NCC.