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Wendy F. Li, Juan Bu, Joshua L. Warren, Christopher Teng; Parental Perspectives on Myopia in Beijing, China. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):2398.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Given the high prevalence of myopia in China, understanding parental perspectives can guide future research and patient care. We aimed to understand how Chinese parents view myopia.
A cross-sectional study was conducted at Peking University 3rd Hospital from July to August 2016. Parents of myopic patients completed a questionnaire including sociodemographics and Likert-style questions assessing perspectives on myopia. Logistic regression models were used to analyze relationships between responses and demographic data.
Of the 109 participants, 107 (98.2%) find their child’s myopia concerning. 54 (49.5%) find their child’s myopia very concerning. Among causes of myopia, electronic screens and eye fatigue were most commonly believed to cause myopia (Table 1). 80 (74.8%) agreed that studying/reading can cause myopia, with respondents with a graduate education more likely to agree (RR=4.48, p=0.011). Lifestyle modifications rather than medical treatments were thought to be most effective for preventing and slowing progression of myopia (Table 2). 104 (95.4%) parents reported restricting electronic screen use and 56 (51.4%) reported restricting studying/reading. All respondents were willing to use at least one of the treatments in Table 2, but each treatment had fewer than 20 current users. Parents were more likely to agree to a greater number of treatments if the child is a boy (RR=2.49, p<0.0001) or if the child has myopia ≥-6.0 D in at least one eye (RR=3.66, p=0.015). Parental age, sex, education level, and rural vs. urban residence did not affect number of methods chosen.
Almost all Chinese parents in this study find their children’s myopia concerning and hope to prevent myopia progression. However, few currently use methods in attempt to slow progression. This may be due to difficulties with adherence, perceived low efficacy, or concerns about safety. Having a male child or a child with high myopia increased willingness to use treatment methods among the parents surveyed. Our study also suggests that despite a strong cultural emphasis on studying, parents are concerned enough about myopia to limit studying. Greater research on practical, effective, and safe treatments for myopia would help meet demand for this population.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
Table 1: Percentage of respondents agreeing with each suggested cause of myopia
Table 2: Perspectives on effectiveness and willingness to use methods to treat myopia
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