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Contact lens prescribing in the Australian states and territories 2001

journal contribution
posted on 2002-09-01, 00:00 authored by Craig Woods, P Morgan
Background: This study was conducted to ascertain current preferences for contact lens prescribing in the Australian states and territories.

Methods: One thousand questionnaires were randomly distributed to proportionate samples of optometrists in each state of Australia. We requested details of the first 10 patients fitted with contact lenses after receipt of the questionnaire.

Results: One hundred and seventy-eight completed questionnaires were returned, detailing contact lens fits to 1,611 patients. The mean age of the patient group was 32.1 $pL 13.0 yrs (65 per cent female). For Australia as a whole: 53 per cent of patients were existing wearers, the remainder were new fits; 93 per cent of new fits were with soft lenses, of which seven per cent were for extended wear. Of the refits, 89 per cent were soft lenses and 18 per cent for extended wear. The lens material of first choice was mid-water-content (62 per cent of all soft lens fits). Only eight per cent of all soft fits were for lenses that were not replaced on a planned basis, with two weeks being the replacement interval of choice in all states and territories. The majority of rigid lenses were prescribed using mid-Dk materials (50 per cent). Analysis of solution prescribing indicates that multi-purpose products were the most common regimens for planned replacement soft lenses. The percentage of hydrogen peroxide prescribed increased as lens replacement became less frequent. By state or territory: practitioners in Tasmania prescribed more extended wear than those in any other state (p = 0.007) and practitioners in Queensland prescribed more daily disposable contact lenses than those in any other state (p = 0.009).

Conclusions: Non-planned replacement lenses are now rarely prescribed to patients. Extended-wear lenses and rigid lenses continue to be prescribed more to existing contact lens wearers than to new patients. The impact of soft multifocal lens designs on contact lens prescribing is very small, ranging from 2.6 per cent in Queensland to 4.7 per cent in Victoria, despite 20 per cent of patients being more than 45 years of age.



Clinical and experimental optometry






279 - 283


Wiley - Blackwell Publishing


Oxford, England







Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal