The Practical Work of Optometrists 2


The College of Optometrists and King’s College London are collaborating to put together a communication skills training package for eye care practitioners to maximise the ways they communicate with patients/clients. This will involve series of workshops and seminars as well as the production of a communication skills professional development portfolio. We are very keen to put together a package that practitioners will find novel and useful so we are also conducting surveys to access the views of students and qualified practitioners on communication skills and communication skills training. You can access these surveys using the tabs at the top of this page.

This website describes our project activities. If would you like to know more about what we our doing you can follow us, leave a reply on the page or contact project member Helena Webb at

The project has been developed in light of the ESRC-funded research project “Assessing Eye Sight and Ocular Health: The Practical work of optometrists” (RES-062-23-1391) Advances in video-recording technologies enable an increasingly detailed exploration of healthcare interactions – for instance by highlighting the key role played by ‘visible’ phenomena such as eye contact and body movements – and the increasing accessibility of these technologies provides opportunities for them to be incorporated into professional development activities.

The findings of the original research project have been published in the Final Report, in academic and professional outlets.

Academic Journal Articles

Webb, H., vom Lehn, D., Heath, C., and W. Gibson. (in press). Engendering response: professional gesture and the assessment of eyesight in optometry consultations. Symbolic Interaction

vom Lehn, D., Gibson, W., Webb, H. and C. Heath (in press). Commensurating Vision: standardized charts in Distance Vision Tests. Soziale Welt

Webb, H., Heath, C., vom Lehn, D. and W. Gibson (2013). The Problem With “Problems”: The Case of Openings in Optometry Consultations. Research on Language and Interaction. Vol.46(1), 65-83.

Gibson, W., Webb, H., and D. vom Lehn. (2011). Re-constituting social praxis: an ethnomethodological analysis of video data in optometry consultations. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 14(3): 207-218.

Professional Publications

Webb, H. and vom Lehn, D. (2011) Eye contact and gaze in optometry consultations Optometry Today 51(11): 16-18.

Webb, H. and vom Lehn, D. (2011) Communicating in optometry consultations Optometry Today 51(7): 30-32.


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