The knowledge, perception, and attitude of patients living with glaucoma and attending the eye clinic of a secondary health care facility in South-East, Nigeria

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Date: January-June 2015
From: Nigerian Journal of Ophthalmology(Vol. 23, Issue 1)
Publisher: Medknow Publications and Media Pvt. Ltd.
Document Type: Report
Length: 3,244 words
Lexile Measure: 1510L

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Byline: Eberechukwu. Achigbu, Chimdi. Chuka-Okosa, Kingsley. Achigbu

Background: In the developing countries, most patients present with advanced disease or glaucoma blindness. This has been attributed to lack of awareness and poor knowledge as major contributing factors. The outcome of glaucoma management, however, depends largely on the understanding and perception of the illness by the patients. Objectives: This study aims to determine the knowledge, perception, and attitude of patients living with glaucoma and attending the Eye Clinic of the Imo State Specialist Hospital Owerri Imo State, Nigeria. The information obtained can be utilized by the health authorities in planning eye health education programs. Subjects and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study involving all previously diagnosed glaucoma patients attending the eye clinic of the hospital during the study period. Data were collected on knowledge, perception, and social disclosure attitude of the subjects using a structured questionnaire. Results: Twenty-nine males and 25 females participated in this study. The majority (42.6%) had only primary school education with petty trading accounting for 38.9% of the different occupations. The mean age at presentation was 60.9 years. The majority (88.8%) identified their eye problem as glaucoma, 46.3% knew it caused a progressive, irreversible loss of vision, and most (68.5%) did not know glaucoma to be familial. Approximately 67% of the subjects rated their management as satisfactory, 37% considered the drugs expensive, 70% and 13%, respectively had no, and negative perception of glaucoma surgery while 87.0% had a poor disclosure attitude. Conclusion: The subjects had a good knowledge of their diagnosis but a poor knowledge of the disease process. There was also an appreciable poor disclosure attitude and a negative perception of glaucoma surgery. Education and interaction with eye care personnel and other glaucoma patients using focal groups may bring about the desired change.

Introduction

The general health belief and behavior of patients toward seeking timely care have been attributed to the underlying knowledge, which they possess.[sup][1],[2],[3] Attitudinal changing knowledge of glaucoma is considered key in achieving greater treatment compliance and screening among the populace in order to reduce the scourge of glaucoma blindness.

Glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness is usually asymptomatic in the early stages. This often results in patients presenting late with advanced disease. Several studies have identified lack of awareness and poor knowledge as the major factors contributing to the high prevalence of glaucoma blindness and poor compliance to treatment.[sup][4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9]

When present, the knowledge base is observed to be skewed along socioeconomic and education lines[sup][4] with those less educated displaying poorer knowledge. In some cases, the messages are heard but not understood[sup][10] a fact, which buttresses the need for clearly articulated education targeting different audiences at their various levels of understanding.

This study seeks to understand the knowledge, perception, and attitude of patients living with glaucoma and attending the Eye Clinic of the Imo State Specialist Hospital Owerri Imo State, Nigeria. The findings from this study can be utilized in planning eye health education programs for Eye Care Centers and the public with...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A428506133