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Patients’ attitudes and beliefs to presbyopia and its correction

Hutchins, B. & Huntjens, B. ORCID: 0000-0002-4864-0723 (2020). Patients’ attitudes and beliefs to presbyopia and its correction. Journal of Optometry, doi: 10.1016/j.optom.2020.02.001


Presbyopia is the gradual inability to focus near objects with age. This study explores patients’ attitudes and beliefs towards presbyopia including preferred modes of near refractive correction.

In the United Kingdom, twenty-four volunteers completed an online questionnaire and attended a structured, recorded focus group. Participants’ age ranged between 36 and 48 years, representing a pre-presbyopic and a presbyopic population. Attitudes and beliefs about presbyopia, its significance, and opinions about current refractive correction including multifocal contact lenses were transcribed and coded using content analysis for overarching themes and patterns.

Six participants (25%) were already wearing a near visual correction while 18 (75%) were not. Five key primary themes with clear inter-participant similarities were identified as ‘age-related’ (75%), ‘acceptance’ (50%), clear lack of ‘familiarity with the word presbyopia’ (65%), a mixed/ reluctant attitude ‘towards (multifocal) contact lenses’ (62.5%), and ‘comfort and convenience’ of a presbyopic correction (79%) whereby cost is of less importance.

The need for a reading correction was perceived as a sign of age. Spectacles were the most preferred mode of near vision correction, while comfort and convenience were seen as more important than cost. Patient education about presbyopia is lacking. Multifocal contact lenses are not necessarily the preferred visual correction even if the patient already wears contact lenses for distance.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020 Spanish General Council of Optometry. Published by Elsevier Espana, S.L.U. This is an open access article under the CC-BY-NC-ND license (
Publisher Keywords: Presbyopia, Attitudes, Beliefs, Contact lenses, Near vision, Patient education
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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