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Research Profile

Dr Helen Court 

Career Profile

I completed my Optometry degree in Cardiff in 2001 graduating with First Class Honours.  I then practised as an Optometrist in private practice from 2001-2004, during which time I was also involved in teaching pre-registration seminars.  During 2004 I returned to Cardiff University to study for a PhD, entitled ‘Anxiety and the Optometric Patient’.  I was actively involved in both clinical work and teaching during this time.  Upon PHD completion, I spent a further year in a post-doctoral position researching the effectiveness of the Welsh Low Vision Service (supported by the Welsh Office of Research and Development).  I started my lectureship post in December 2008.

Awards and Prizes


2002: College of Optometrist prizes for professional qualifying examinations (PQEs):

  1. College prize: second highest overall mark in the PQE
  2. George Wheatcroft prize: best results in Investigative techniques PQE
  3. The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers’ prize: highest marks in Dispensing, Routine and Ocular Disease & Abnormality

2005: Award for Best Presentation at BCOVS (British Congress of Optometry and Vision Sciences conference), Bradford

2008:Nominated for Optician’s Award: “Contribution to CET”


May 2009          Evaluating the effectiveness of low vision services in Wales.
                        ARVO, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

March 2009       Patient Anxiety: a problem for contact lens practice?
                       Swedish Contact Lens Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden.

March 2009       Patient Anxiety: a challenge for contact lens practice?
                       Bausch & Lomb Academy of Vision Care;
                       Loughborough, Manchester, London & Newport, UK.

July 2008          Visual Impairment and Falls. Vision 2008, Montreal, Canada.

July 2008          Managing anxiety in optometric practice. Independent’s day, Birmingham, UK.

June 2007         Anxious Patients - What’s the Problem? REPLAY learning CET lectures.

May 2006          Development of the Optometric Anxiety Scale.  ARVO, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

April 2006         Anxiety and the contact lens patient. Global Symposium on Vision Correction,

Teaching Profile

For the last four years I have co-led the ‘Communication Skills’ module for the 2nd years. This is a seminar-style course designed to teach aspects of communication skills required in practice.  I have also been responsible to supervising a range of undergraduate clinics including 2nd and 3rd year primary care clinics.  Since January 2009 I have taught ‘Colour Vision’ to the 2nd year students and supervised final year dissertation projects.  I am currently involved in redesigning the ‘Communication Skills’ teaching, which is now integrated into all three years of the undergraduate degree.

I also participate in the delivery of CET for Optometrists.