April 2014
Volume 55, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2014
Eye Health Education: How Do Patients Want To Learn?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lakshmi Swamy
    Ophthalmology, Duke University, Durham, NC
  • Sandra S Stinnett
    Ophthalmology, Duke University, Durham, NC
  • Jullia Ann Rosdahl
    Ophthalmology, Duke University, Durham, NC
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Lakshmi Swamy, None; Sandra Stinnett, None; Jullia Rosdahl, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2014, Vol.55, 4310. doi:
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      Lakshmi Swamy, Sandra S Stinnett, Jullia Ann Rosdahl; Eye Health Education: How Do Patients Want To Learn?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):4310.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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To understand the learning preferences of ophthalmology patients.


Results from a survey of ophthalmology patients were analyzed for education preferences and how these correlate with race, age, and ophthalmic topics of interest. A voluntary and anonymous survey was offered to all patients visiting the Duke Eye Center during the month of May 2012. A total of 611 patients (7.9% of total patients) completed the survey. The survey collected the respondents’ age, race, eye health topic preferences, and educational media preferences. The age and racial proportions of the survey group were compared to that of all Duke Eye Center patients during the same time period (a total of 7715 patients).


The age and racial distribution of all Duke Eye Center patients was similar to that of the self-reported demographics of the survey group. Patients preferred to learn about eye health from one-on-one sessions with providers as well as from printed materials and websites recommended by providers. Patients currently learning from their provider were older (average age 59), and patients learning from the internet (average age 49) and family and friends (average age 51) were younger. Patients interested in cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and dry eye were older; patients interested in double vision and glasses were younger. There were racial differences among topic preferences, with black patients most interested in glaucoma (46% of all black respondents), diabetic retinopathy (31%), and cataracts (28%), and white patients most interested in cataracts (22%), glaucoma (22%), and macular degeneration (19%). P was less than 0.05% for all comparison groups.


Ophthalmology patients preferred personalized education: one-on-one with their provider or a health educator, and materials (printed and electronic) recommended by their provider. Age-related topics were more popular with older patients, and diseases with racial risk factors were more popular with high risk racial groups. Practice implication: Patients value printed materials and websites recommended for them by their providers.

Keywords: 460 clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: health care delivery/economics/manpower • 413 aging  

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