May 2008
Volume 49, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
Barriers to the Uptake of Cataract Surgery in an Urban West African Community
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • M. Krakauer
    Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York
  • B. Pendurthi
    Duke University Eye Center, Durham, North Carolina
  • G. R. Hay-Smith
    Department of Epidemiology, Institute of Ophthalmology, London, United Kingdom
  • K. Barton
    Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, United Kingdom
  • D. L. Budenz
    Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, Florida
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  M. Krakauer, None; B. Pendurthi, None; G.R. Hay-Smith, None; K. Barton, None; D.L. Budenz, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  NEI Core Grant EY014801 and grants from Pfizer, Inc., Research to Prevent Blindness, the Allergan Foundation, the Milton B. Rosenbluth Foundation, and the Mount Sinai Global Health Center.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2008, Vol.49, 1931. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      M. Krakauer, B. Pendurthi, G. R. Hay-Smith, K. Barton, D. L. Budenz; Barriers to the Uptake of Cataract Surgery in an Urban West African Community. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):1931.

      Download citation file:

      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

Purpose: : Although it is the leading cause of blindness in the developing world, only a small fraction of patients diagnosed with operable cataract opt for surgery. The purpose of our study was to identify barriers to cataract surgery in an urban West African community. It is the first such study conducted in an urban setting in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: : Semi-structured and focus group interviews were conducted with 33 subjects with operable cataracts identified during a random sample survey of eye disease.

Results: : Only three subjects had attended or planned to attend for surgery. The barriers to cataract surgery in this population were cost (83%), fear of the unknown (37%), knowledge of someone with an unsuccessful operation (30%), no perceived need (30%), and failure to recall the diagnosis (17%). Most respondents were elderly and financially dependent on their children. We identified three variables that had to be present in order for a patient to opt for surgery: trust in the diagnosis, financial means, and a lack of fear of surgery.

Conclusions: : Barriers to surgery in this urban community were similar to those reported previously in rural areas. The most effective tools for increasing cataract surgery in this area are cost reduction and patient and family education.

Keywords: clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: treatment/prevention assessment/controlled clinical trials • cataract 

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.