Assessing the UK optical profession’s mental health

Andrew McClean speaks to David Elliott about research into workplace stress in optometry

A new study explored mental health, wellbeing and burnout among optometrists in the UK to increase understanding of how these issues affect the workforce. David Elliott, professor of clinical vision science at the University of Bradford, will co-lead the research with optometry lecturer Dr Lindsay Rountree.  

‘We know that mental health conditions are more prevalent in other healthcare professions compared with the general population in the UK, but not a lot is known about optometry,’ Elliott explained.  

He suspected levels of workplace stress and burnout are higher within the optometric profession compared with the general population. 

A recent study in Australia found approximately a third of optometrists experienced moderate to severe psychological distress, depression and anxiety, and over 50% reported high burnout.  

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