Purchase this article with an account.
Nathan G Congdon, Farzana Sehrin, Ling Jin, Kamrun Naher, Narayan Chandra Das, Susan Bergson, Ving Fai Chan, Ella Gudwin; The effect on income of providing near vision correction to workers in Bangladesh: A randomized trial. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):5145.
Download citation file:
© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To assess for the first time impact of presbyopia correction on income, across a variety of professions.
A census of persons aged 35 to 65 years was carried out in 59 villages in Bangladesh without prior glasses programs. Trained non-medical personnel measured near and distance vision, performed a basic eye exam and selected reading glasses power by protocol. Eligibility requirements included: distance vision >= 6/12 in both eyes, correctable inability to see the N8 optotype at 40 cm with both eyes, and no current near glasses. A random 1/3 sample of those eligible were randomized to immediate provision of near vision glasses (Intervention group) or delivery of glasses after 7 months (Control). Main study outcome was inter-group difference in change in self-reported monthly income between baseline and endline (7 months); secondary outcome was group difference in change in near vision-related quality of life (NVRQOL). Participants gave information on demographics, primary profession, education level, engagement in income-producing work, glasses wear habits and vision-related work difficulties, and study personnel rated professions from most to least visually demanding. An Intention to Treat (ITT) analysis was carried out on all randomized participants.
Among 10,877 census participants, 3648 (33.5%) were eligible and 1125 (30.8%) were selected for participation, among whom 39 (3.47%) could not be reached. All in the Intervention (n=555, 51.1%) and Control (n=531, 48.9%) groups received their allocated interventions and completed follow-up in 93.4% and 94.7% of cases respectively. Groups did not differ at baseline in any characteristics: mean age was 47 years, 39% were male, 34% literate, and two-thirds engaged in "most visually demanding" professions. Glasses wear at endline was 89% in the Intervention group, 9.0% in Controls. Increase in monthly income was significantly greater in the Intervention group (Inter-group difference: $5.88 (22.8%), 95% Confidence Interval $2.02, $9.75, P<0.003), and change in NVRQOL was higher with intervention (P<0.001). Predictors of greater income increase were Intervention group (P<0.013), male sex (P<0.001) and lack of income-producing work at baseline (P<0.001).
Provision of reading glasses is an effective and low-cost means of achieving the first Sustainable Development Goal of poverty alleviation across many work settings.
This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only