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I. Patel, B. Munoz, H. Mkocha, A.G. Burke, A.W. Schwarzwalder, W. Mchiwa, S.K. West; Presbyopia: Outcomes After Correction in a Rural African Setting . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):1185.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Refractive error is a leading cause of low vision and blindness in the developing world and glasses programs are being implemented worldwide as a result. Currently, very little information is available about the value of providing correction. The purpose of this study was to examine outcomes after the provision of near vision glasses.
The Tanzania Near Vision Impairment Project is a population–based study of village and town–dwelling adults aged 40 and over in rural Tanzania. 866 subjects who were presbyopic and given near vision glasses at baseline were followed–up at two months. They were administered a questionnaire to assess their experience with glasses and, changes in quality of life and affordability. Participants also undertook a functional near vision test at baseline and with their glasses on at follow–up.
Of the eligible subjects, 89% participated. 92% of subjects were using the glasses. 49% used them a few times a week with another 18% using them daily. Town residents (p < 0.001) and men (p = 0.02) were more likely to use the glasses daily. At baseline, 31% of subjects successfully completed the functional near vision task while 88% were successful at follow–up. Lesser severity of presbyopia (p < 0.001) and lower age (p = 0.004) predicted success at baseline while lower age (p = 0.01) predicted success at follow–up. About 60% of the sample were not satisfied with their ability to do near work at baseline but changed their response at follow–up. 57% reported being dependent on family for near vision tasks at baseline but were no longer dependent at follow–up. 45% of subjects could afford to pay for the glasses at baseline with an additional 20% reporting being able to afford them at follow–up. 78% of males and 58% of females reported that they would get replacement glasses if the need arose.
This study shows that the majority of presbyopes are using their near vision glasses and better near vision has brought improvements across quality of life subscales. Our findings provide evidence for greater emphasis on near vision in the World Health Organization's Vision 2020 refraction agenda.
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