The dual purpose of the study was to determine why LASIK patients recommend the procedure, and to evaluate the disparity between high levels of satisfaction and reports of post-op problems (dry eye and/or night-vision issues).
Overall, 604 patients with a mean age of 43 were included in the study63% of whom were women. Results showed that 586 of the participants would recommend LASIK to a friend, though only 434 of them answered the why or why not question.
About one in four of those who said they would recommend LASIK did not say why. So, the researchers decided to investigate this disparity.
Results showed that a significantly higher percentage of those who were dissatisfied with their outcome did not give a reason for why they would recommend LASIK to a friend (15% vs. 4%). This prompted three conclusions:
Top Reasons Why Patients Recommend LASIK
N = 434
Bailey MD, Mitchell GL, Dhaliwal DK, et al. Reasons patients recommend laser in situ keratomileusis. J Cataract Refract Surg 2004 Sep;30(9):1861-6.
Those who had post-op complaints, yet still reported high levels of satisfaction, may have considered their post-LASIK night vision and dryness symptoms to be mild when compared with the overall benefit.
Cognitive dissonancea theory that people often have two conflicting beliefs that produce discomfort, and therefore motivate them to find consistency within their belief systemmay have been why those who had post-op complaints still reported high levels of satisfaction.
Various participants gave more than a dozen reasons why they would recommend LASIK to a friend. Number one: No more spectacles/contact lenses.
Results also showed that women were more likely to write better comfort and/or better quality of life as the reasons theyd recommend LASIK to a friend.
A lot of women in their 40s start to experience dry eye when they get to menopause, so that may have something to do with this finding, says Melissa Bailey, O.D., Ph.D., one of the studys authors. n
1. Bailey MD, Mitchell GL, Dhaliwal DK, et al. Reasons patients recommend laser in situ keratomileusis. J Cataract Refract Surg 2004 Sep;30(9):1861-6.