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Daniela Alanis Cabrera, Eduardo Chávez Mondragón, Karla Zuniga Posselt, Fernando Solorio Martinez, Marisol Garzón; Socioeconomic Factors Regarding Cataract Surgery in a Developing Country. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):3798.
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To analyze the socioeconomic variables that delay diagnosis of cataract and performance of cataract surgery in the Institute of Ophalmology Conde de Valenciana in Mexico. Identifying main obstacles that avoid an adequate early treatment, through the survey of time between symptoms onset and primary ophthalmological care, causes of treatment delay and main income source for medical expenses
We applied a questionnaire to 300 patients that consisted in 13 questions, which attempt to evaluate socioeconomic factors in cataract treatment. We included patients over 45 years old with unilateral surgery within the first postoperative month. All patients with previous or concurrent ocular pathology, previous ocular surgery or any complication during the surgery were excluded. All data was collected into a data base and analyzed using IBM SPSS
The mean age of the population were 69 years and more than half, 60% were women. We found predominant 47% an elementary school degree,15% of the population was uneducated and oly 13% had a bachelors degree or higher. Fifty percent of the patients in the study searched for primary ophthalmological care one year after the onset of symptoms. Almost one third of the patients waited more than 6 months from the diagnosis of cataract to receive surgical treatment; main reason was lack of economic resources 45%, followed by fear of complications 14%. Total cost of the procedure was around 1100 dls. including transportation, medical consults, topic treatment and cataract surgery. Main source of income for medical expenses were from relatives in up to 52% of the population; 22% had to ask for a loan and only 16% payed themselves. Up to 91% of the patients had cataract in the fellow eye but only 40% could afford surgery, the main reason was lack of money 31%
Thanks to this survey we were able to determine the factors that limit the Mexican population to receive the proper treatment for cataracts.These results are only a starting point in how and when we could reach people who need cataract surgery. It’s important to emphasize that our country has a lot of demand for ophthalmological care, especially in rural and isolated communities since 23% of the population inhabits in rural isolated areas with difficult access to medical attention. Also one of the main ideas that surged from this study is to provide medical education around visual health in these isolated communities
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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