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A.G. Dawn, C. Santiago-Turla, P.P. Lee; Patient Expectations Regarding Eye Care: Focus Group Results . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):180.
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Purpose: To determine a relevant set of concerns that ophthalmology patients express as expectations regarding their eye care. Methods: Focus group participants were recruited from among patients waiting for eye appointments at Duke University Eye Center. Patients were grouped on the basis of having either potentially irreversible blinding eye conditions (e.g. glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, etc.) or non-blinding eye conditions (e.g. refractive errors, cataract, etc.) and as either lower or higher socioeconomic status, using education as a proxy. A total of 38 ophthalmology patients participated in six focus groups. Focus groups ranged in size from four to ten people. The script for the groups was based on the review of the literature and the results of initial patient interviews. Two of the authors reviewed the transcripts of the focus groups and analyzed them for content and key concepts. Results: Content analysis of transcripts from the six focus groups yielded 22 areas of expectations for eye care, which were classified into 5 categories: Communication, Interpersonal Manner, Doctor’s Skill, Logistics, and Other. The six areas that appeared to be of greatest importance to focus group participants were the following: 1) Honesty, 2) Information about diagnosis and prognosis, 3) Explanation in clear language, 4) Experience and reputation, 5) Empathy, and 6) Listening / addressing concerns. Conclusions: In general, ophthalmology patients in the focus groups emphasized expectations related to communication and interpersonal manner. In contrast to previous studies with primary care patients, however, ophthalmology patients expressed few expectations for technical interventions, such as medication prescriptions, physical examination, or diagnostic testing.
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