The importance of conducting a lifestyle interview
Asking simple lifestyle questions can help opticians get a sense of what a patient demands of their glasses. I use this technique of “interviewing” a patient to gather information about their needs and expectations. This is especially important if the patient has not come directly from seeing the doctor. Maybe the patient had their exam 6 months ago is just getting around to purchasing glasses – they probably forgot the discussion about a blue-light filter for their computer screen. Or maybe the patient has a prescription written for progressive lenses; perhaps the idea of shopping for such a foreign item can be daunting and intimidating.
No matter the reason, asking simple questions can help identify what a patient expects from their new spectacles, and the skilled optician can help guide the patient. The optician can open the conversation with questions like:
- How often do you use your glasses? (Daily? Only in the evening when contacts are removed? Or split 50/50?)
- What do you like about your current glasses? Or conversely,
- What don’t you like about your current glasses? (Treat lightly – they might have purchased them from your optical…!)
- Did your doctor make any recommendations for your lenses or frame? (This one applies if the patient is shopping with an outside prescription)
There are others that I use, and more that I surely haven’t thought of! Feel free to add any favorites in the comments section below.