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Patricia M. O'Connor, Lucy Busija, Anna-Lena Arnold, Gail Ormsby, Jill E. Keeffe; The Impact Of Knowledge And Attitudes On Preventative Eye Care Practices And Service Uptake In Cambodia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):5531.
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To investigate how knowledge and attitudes influence eye care practices and service uptake in Takeo Province, Cambodia.
Thirty villages were randomly selected from three districts of Takeo province. Men and women from age groups 30-49 and 50+ and parents of any age with children aged 0-5 years were surveyed. Questions included knowledge of eye diseases, attitudes to eye care, preventative practices and service uptake.
Five hundred and ninety nine adults were surveyed (mean±SD age 45.3 ± 15.6 years; range 19-90 years; 64 % female). Participants’ responses to the question "have you ever heard of the following eye conditions: red eye/infection, blurred vision/refraction-related problems, cataract, trachoma, cross eyed, pteryguim, trichiasis, and eye injury/foreign body" were used to denote knowledge. The proportion of those who knew of each eye disease ranged from 97% (eye injury/foreign body) to 25% (trachoma). From 509 people (85%) who claimed knowledge of cataract, 47% did not know how cataract could be treated, 22% listed taking traditional medicine as a treatment option and only 20% listed surgery as the best treatment for cataract. The most trusted sources of eye health information were Health Centre staff (25%) and the radio (24%). 370 respondents (62%) reported having had an eye problem in the past but only 143 of those (38%) had sought treatment. 57% of those who considered medical sources as most trustworthy sought treatment from health centre staff while only 13% of those who most trusted lay sources did so (p<.001). Key preventive behaviours listed included using clean water (30%), wearing a hat in the sun (29%) and wearing sun glasses (28%). Among those who reported having regular health checks (n=64) 59% had never had an eye check (p<.001).
Attitudes to eye health clearly influenced participants’ service uptake. However, knowledge of eye diseases and appropriate treatment was generally deficient
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