November 1, 2022
By Alberto Edeza, PhD, Sophy Perdomo, PhD, and Nicole Brainard, PhD, MPH
Provider communication skills impact the quality of conversations. The quality of conversation, in turn, impacts adherence to treatment, patient health literacy, and patient satisfaction.
The Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions Behavior Science and Johnson & Johnson Vision Myopia teams previously shared a set of best practices for high-quality patient-provider conversations. The previous article highlighted the importance of high-quality communication —particularly identifying parent values and leveraging this information in collaboration with parents to make decisions that are consistent with and connected to the values and motivations they hold for their child. Our teams are dedicated to leveraging science to improve communication between eye care providers (ECPs) and parents and have developed an exclusive communication training to enhance myopia management conversations. These evidence-based principles have already been proven effective in helping oral care professionals improve their patient conversations as well as improving recruitment and retention in clinical trials — and now we are bringing them to ECPs.
The ISIGHT Model
Our ECP communication enhancement training has been launched in North America and the Asia-Pacific region, with the most recent North America training in May as a live webinar. Over the course of an hour, the expert-led webinar introduced our proprietary ISIGHT model — a series of evidence-based steps that can be taken to demonstrably improve the quality of conversation with young myopia patients and their parents. The model consists of six steps that form the foundation of any high-quality conversation with young patients and their parents about myopia management:
- Identify the values and motivations of their patients.
- Discuss a patient’s eye health in easy-to-understand language.
- Consider treatment options collaboratively.
- Goal Set and Action Plan in realistic ways.
- Show patients how to use and care for their vision-correction solution.
- Track patient adherence to prescribed treatments or recommendations.
These practices can benefit everyone, from the newly minted ECP who is treating their first patients independently, to the seasoned optometrist who has been working with patients for decades. After all, high-quality conversation with patients is a skill that benefits from continued refinement.
“We recognize that these conversations with parents aren’t always easy for those new to myopia management. Because our commitment to myopia goes beyond product, we want to support ECPs in effective parent and patient communication.”
Dr. Chandra Mickles, North America Professional Education Lead Myopia at Johnson & Johnson Vision
The webinar, moderated by Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions Director of Behavior Science, Dr. Nicole Brainard, and Johnson & Johnson Vision’s North America Professional Education Lead for Myopia, Dr. Chandra Mickles, also featured two myopia management leaders, Drs. Gary Gerber and Shefali Miglani, who shared how they leverage these principles to have effective myopia management conversations. The main takeaways included:
- Understanding what parents and their children care about can help you tailor your approach and make treatment recommendations that they are more likely to stick with.
- Providing parents (and children, when developmentally appropriate) with choice significantly increases adherence.
- Conversations about myopia management aren’t always easy to have with parents, but following the ISIGHT model can help strengthen their agreement with treatment recommendations and provide you with richer information about potential treatment obstacles.
Improving Patient Relationships and Treatment Adherence
Provider communication skills impact the quality of conversations. The quality of conversation, in turn, impacts adherence to treatment, patient health literacy, and patient satisfaction, among other important items. As an ECP, you probably work with a variety of young patients and their parents who communicate in diverse ways. It might be difficult to decide on a course of action for multi-faceted treatment approaches, such as myopia management, when it is difficult to communicate with a young patient and their parent.
High quality conversations, on the other hand, make it far easier to work with those same patients. In your limited chair time with a patient, you might want to assess which treatment options fit best with a patient’s lifestyle, what the patient is willing and able to commit to, and where you need to supply additional health education, but you may not be able to get the patient to participate in the conversation to the degree that you want. That’s where behavior science and the ISIGHT model can help. The behavior change techniques, which informed the creation of the ISIGHT model, have been proven to work in myriad contexts. Furthermore, ECPs might consider promulgating the framework to their staff to equip them with the skills they need to better serve patients, especially when staff can then assume greater responsibility in working with patients with myopia and free up time for the ECP.
As an ECP, your job becomes more rewarding if you have a good rapport with your patients. Patients look to their health care providers for support, but they may not always know what they need or how to ask for it. Being able to foster high-quality conversations with diverse patients helps you make sure that they are both satisfied and receiving the treatment that is the best fit for them.
“As human beings we want to have our own autonomy — feeling that we have choice in our life — and that we can be supported in making those decisions. These moments can be as simple as deciding between parent and child how they will increase their outdoor time or when they will break up that near work.”
Dr. Nicole Brainard, Healthcaring Conversations United States Webinar, May 2022
At Johnson & Johnson Vision, we believe in leveraging scientific evidence to improve communication with patients, with the goal of improving patients’ health. Partnering with us is a fantastic way to gain access to tools and practice opportunities to help make your great patient care even better. In addition to the webinar, we also offer in-person and virtual education and skill-building resources, such as an upcoming e-module to practice conversation skills around myopia management through behavior-science informed scenarios. Look out for even more exciting opportunities from the Johnson & Johnson Vision team in 2023.
|Alberto Edeza, PhD, Scientist 3 — Research and Development, US Tech Solutions, provides services for Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions.|
|Sophy Perdomo, PhD, Scientist 3 — Research and Development, Acro Services Corporation, provides services for Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions. Dr. Perdomo is a behavioral scientist driven to improve health outcomes across a wide range of conditions using digital and non-digital interventions. Dr. Perdomo has 12+ years of multidisciplinary experience in wellness and clinical research ranging from normal development to healthy aging and management of chronic physical and mental conditions. She completed her doctoral and master’s degrees at the University of Pittsburgh and her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Florida.
|Nicole Brainard, PhD, MPH, is a trained behavioral scientist whose career centers around the application of behavior change techniques to foster adoption of desired health behaviors, leading to improvements in overall health and wellbeing. In her current role, Dr. Brainard manages the development and implementation of behavior change interventions for internal and external partners. She completed her doctoral degree at the University of Texas School of Public Health, holds a master’s in public health from Boston University, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of South Florida. Dr. Brainard currently serves as the Director of Behavioral Science for Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions.|
This article is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision.