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E. Davila, A. J. Caban-Martinez, D. J. Lee, B. L. Lam, D. D. Zheng, K. Arheart, S. Christ; Sociodemographic Correlates of Eye Care Visits, BRFSS, 2008. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):5369.
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Research has suggested that individuals are not following eye care visit recommendations (e.g., every two years). Population based data on factors associated with lack of eye care visits is limited. The purpose of this study was to assess predictors of eye care visits among participants of the 2008 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey.
BRFSS 2008 data from the states of Alabama, Connecticut, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Wyoming were used (n=44,603). The proportion of survey respondents 40 years of age and older reporting having visited an eye care provider within the past two years, two or more years ago, or never by participant characteristics (age, gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, education, body mass index, insurance, and state) was assessed. Polytomous multiple logistic regression with adjustments for survey design was used to identify sociodemographic characteristics associated with provider visit status.
Seventy-eight percent of respondents reported visiting an eye care provider within the previous two years, 20% indicated that their provider visit was at least two years ago, and 1.8% reported that they had never seen an eye care provider. Using the never visits as the referent category, the strongest associations with report of an ocular visit within the past two years was being greater than 65 years of age relative to 40-45 years (OR= 22.4 [95% confidence interval= 13.9-36.0]), having graduated from college relative to those who did not complete high school (5.3 [3.5-8.0]), the availability of eye provider health insurance coverage (3.4 [2.6-4.5]), and Hispanic ethnicity (0.37 [0.24-0.55]). Similar, but generally weaker sociodemographic associations were noted when comparing those reporting ocular visits two or more years prior to the interview relative to those who had never been to an ocular health care provider.
Predictors of recent eye care visits include older age, greater years of education, the availability of eye provider insurance coverage, and Hispanic ethnicity. These data suggest the need for targeted educational campaigns on the need for preventive eye care visits in select sociodemographic subgroups and greater access to health insurance coverage for such visits.
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