Chains vs. Independents: Research Survey Compares Consumer Perceptions Toward Both


With specific data comparing the patient experience at independent optometric locations versus chains, Jobson Optical Research's "2013 Adult Consumer Eye Exam Experience" includes extensive information related to consumer perceptions and attitudes toward the overall eye exam experience.

Among its results:

  • 69 percent who had their eye exam at an independent location said that they would be extremely likely to return, compared to 54 percent who had their eye exam at a chain.
  • 61.4 percent of all consumers who had an eye exam within six months of being surveyed were currently covered by a type of managed vision care or insurance plan.
  • 53.6 percent of all consumers surveyed were extremely satisfied with the eye exam experience.
  • 20.9 percent who had their eye exam at a chain were referred to another physician or health care provider for further evaluation, while 14.1 percent who had their eye exam at an independent were referred.

Part of Jobson Optical Research's Insight Survey Series, the research report also analyzes the doctor/patient relationship, exploring what patients say about their eye exam and providing insight into how patients believe doctors are communicating with them. It analyzes the eye exam, the role of insurance, and what doctors checked for and asked patients.

Based on several years of trending data, the 96-page report also compares the utilization of managed vision care plans at independent locations versus its use at chains, among other parameters influencing the patient experience. Fielded in June 2013, the recently released study was completed by a total of 2,864 consumers who had an eye exam in the last six months and reflected national demographics of adults across gender, age, household income and other U.S. Census parameters. The 2013 data are compared with the results from the same survey conducted each year since 2007. The questionnaire was based on the American Optometric Association's Optometric Clinical Practice Guideline: Comprehensive Adult Eye and Vision Examination.