Poor communication undermines efforts to provide good-quality care. We were involved in developing a training programme to improve the communication skills of optometrists with older patients who come for eye tests.

The challenge

Communication with older patients can present particular challenges for health professionals, and yet is linked to important outcomes such as accurate diagnosis, patient satisfaction and adherence. The Directorate of Optometric Continuing Education and Training (DOCET) is responsible for the continued training of all of optometrists in the UK, and is concerned with providing optometrists with the skills and knowledge to improve communication with older people having eye tests.

Our response

Dr Tina Cartwright, a chartered health psychologist at the University of Westminster, worked with Radical Departures, a company specialising in digital medical and health-care communications, in developing a training video for optometrists, providing an expert opinion and featuring on the video along with other experts. She provided guidance on how to tailor communication specifically for older people to maximise the patient experience and optimise patient outcomes.

Business results

The learning programme 'Communication with the older patient' is now available on the DOCET website to provide guidance for optometrists on eye care for older people. Featuring expert opinion and patient-optometrist scenarios, it helps optometrists with:

  • communicating effectively with older people
  • dealing with common communication problems
  • providing advice and information to facilitate understanding and adherence

What our client says

Tina provided consultancy at the scripting stage of our film for optometrists on ‘Communicating with older patients’. She advised us on best practice and provided us with practical tips for optometrists to use during consultations with older patients. As part of a series of interviews, Tina agreed to feature in the film as one of three subject matter experts and provided a valuable contribution to the finished piece. Tina was also very helpful when we corresponded with her afterwards by providing us with references and further reading on request

Rosie Humphreys, Researcher, Radical Departures.

Who was involved

Read more about who was involved with this project:

Radical Departures

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