Over the past year we have been working with the General Optical Council (GOC) on a project called Land The Message as part of the wider Love Your Lenses campaign. Land The Message aims to improve how eye care practitioners talk to their patients about contact lens safety.

What was the problem?

Research commissioned by the GOC showed that over half of contact lens wearers don’t remember being told how to look after their lenses and only 2% meet recommended safety levels. Poor wear and care practices can lead to serious eye infections and, scarily, even blindness.

What did we do?

Claremont worked with the GOC to explore what was going on and develop interventions to address the problem. Research revealed that the advice given by practitioners can vary significantly, and may not always be effective. With the help of optical industry experts, behavioural science academics and behaviour change specialists we developed three tools to help deliver aftercare information in a way that is more readily recalled by patients.

The tools

  • Visual Aid: a poster showing the simple steps to looking after your lenses, designed to be used with the patient during the appointment.
  • Pre-appointment questionnaire: a few short questions designed to prompt conversation about aftercare and pick up any potential issues
  • Lifestyle-based questions: relevant questions so that the optician can tailor their advice to the patients’ lifestyle

These tools were all developed with psychological theory in mind, for example the importance of personalising information to enhance attention, and the use of chunking and the testing effect to aid recall.

But did they work in practice?

Yes! Early qualitative feedback from both practitioners and patients suggests that the tools can make a positive difference to both aftercare information recall and overall patient experience.

One of the practitioners who tested the tools commented:

Just like with driving, we can pick up bad habits. Some of our contact lens wearers don’t know why certain behaviours are risky. The tools give us the opportunity to talk about this.”

Keith Tempany, Leightons and Tempany

What now? 

We’ve refined the tools based on feedback. Now the GOC want to spread the word and get more and more opticians using the tools to ‘land the message’ about contact lens safety more effectively.

There are signs that LTM is triggering a bigger conversation in the optical sector about how to use behavioural insights to communicate more effectively. The tools are also being included in practitioner training as part of their professional development.

Read about Land The Message in Optometry Today.

Find out more and download the tools on loveyourlenses.com/land-the-message/

Also look out for Love Your Lenses week from 23-30 March 2019 and follow it on twitter