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A public survey on perceptions of vision care: A Portland study

1 May 1998


A questionnaire was developed to sample a general population's knowledge and perceptions about vision care and vision care providers. The questionnaire also sampled current choice of eye care provider, frequency of eye examinations, and satisfaction with eye care services. Of the 248 respondents, about 67% get their eyes examined every one to two years. People aged 60 years and older tend to have their eyes examined every two years rather than annually. For their last eye exam, people choose private optometrists(33.6%), ophthalmologists(29.0%), HMO's(15.4%), optical chains(12.0%), school screenings(4.6%), not sure (3.3%), and health fairs(0.4%). Overall, 81% of the respondents underestimated the schooling/training for optometrists and ophthalmologists and overestimated the training/schooling for opticians. The population choose optometrists for refractive situations such as contact lenses, ophthalmologists for disease treatment and surgery, and opticians for eyeglass and frame situations. Vision therapy was associated more with ophthalmologists than optometrists. There is a lack in public knowledge about vision care services provided by optometrists such as vision therapy and disease treatment.


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