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alice liu, Zhengyan Ge, Linshan Li, Di Song, Yizhe Chen, Lynne Lohfeld, Yuanbo Liang; Laypeople’s Attitudes towards a Home-Based Vision Screening Program in Rural China. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):3354.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Eye health screening programs provide detection of individuals at risk for ocular diseases and can lead to timely treatments to improve vision. While traditional community screening models require substantial costs, self-administered vision screening programs reduce expenses and are more suitable for low-resource settings. We examined laypeople’s experiences with the Yueqing Eye Study (YES), a project testing the acceptability, feasibility and effectiveness of a home-based visual acuity screening model in rural China.
Descriptive qualitative study, collecting data about the YES project from individual interviews (n=32 laypeople) as part of a larger study with project or community leaders, clinic staff and trained screeners. Purposive maximum variation sampling of laypeople. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, translated from Chinese to English and coded using the thematic framework approach.
The benefit most commonly mentioned was the opportunity to check one’s vision using the visual acuity (VA) chart. Other advantages included early detection of eye diseases, convenience, no cost to the public and free transportation to local eye clinics for follow-up exams for adults with poor VA. Lack of familiarity with Snelling VA charts and mistrust about the accuracy of the chart as a screening tool were the key negative aspects of the program for participants. Respondents also felt the eye clinics were too far away and hard to locate, and that screeners did not provide sufficient information to them during initial visits. Recommendations made by participants included posting the VA chart in village centers rather than individuals’ homes, having doctors visiting villages rather than community screeners, increasing community outreach, and improving clinic facilities, staff attitudes, and transportation access.
Laypeople appreciated the simplicity and convenience of having a VA chart at home to check their vision with. Our findings can further inform strategies to increase the acceptability, uptake and effectiveness of home-based vision screening programs in rural settings of China. The barriers identified by participants limit program effectiveness and consideration should be made about how to address them, including public educational intervention to promote familiarity with VA chart usage among families.
This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
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