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Gabor Laszlo Sandor, Dorottya Szabo, Gabor Toth, Iren Szalai, Regina Lukacs, Anita Pek, Georgina Toth, Andras Papp, Zoltan Zsolt Nagy, Hans Limburg, Janos Nemeth; Barriers to cataract surgery in Hungary: a population based survey. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):778.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To evaluate the barriers to cataract surgery in the population aged 50 years and older in Hungary.
A Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) survey was conducted in Hungary in 2015. A sample size of 3675 was calculated using the standard RAAB software. 105 clusters of 35 people 50 years of age or older were selected through probability proportionate to size sampling. Within clusters, households were selected using compact segment sampling. Visual acuity was measured with a Snellen tumbling E-chart without and with pinhole, prior to the examination by an ophthalmologist. The participants were examined using a direct and an indirect ophthalmoscope. All of the patients whose unilateral best corrected visual acuity was <6/60 due to cataract were asked why they had not had cataract surgery.
64 people (22 males and 42 females) with unilateral BCVA<6/60 due to cataract had not been operated. There was no statistically significant difference in age (male: 74±11 years, female: 77±10 years, p=0.2548, t-test). Barriers were quite similar for males and for females (p=0.8605, Chi-square test). ‘Need not felt’ was the most common barrier (59.4%), followed by ‘Other comorbidity’ (17.2%), ‘Fear to surgery’ (14.1%), ‘On a waiting list’ (7.8%) and ‘Unaware of availability’ (1,6%). ‘Cost’ and ‘Cannot access the treatment’ were no factor at all (both 0%). The most of people, who felt no need to have a surgery recognised his or her visual impairment at first time during the examination, when the “better eye” was covered.
According to our opinion the regularly performed self-checking may be useful to recognise the presence or progression of visual impairment, therefore may reduce the number of non-operated cataract in Hungary. Furthermore the relative high proportion of ’Fear to surgery’ assumes that the medical information should be more trustworthy.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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