Practice of Eye Checks among Medical Doctors in South-East Nigeria
Advances in Research,
Visual impairment greatly affects one’s quality of life. The number of persons with visual impairment and blindness in the world is on the increase. Eye screening allows for early detection of sight-threatening diseases and timely intervention could be sight-saving.
Aim: To determine the practice of eye checks and identify the factors that affect periodic eye checks among medical doctors in south-east Nigeria.
Methodology: This study was a descriptive, cross-sectional study conducted among practicing medical doctors in private and public hospitals in Anambra State Nigeria, using a self-administered semi-structured questionnaire. Information obtained from the participants included the sociodemographics data, type and duration of practice, presence of any medical and/or ocular condition, family history of eye diseases, history of use of spectacles, practice of eye check and interval of eye check, factors affecting the practice of eye check, and ways of promoting regular eye check. Data obtained were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 23. Statistical significance was set at p˂0.05.
Results: One hundred and eighty-seven practicing medical doctors were interviewed. There were 123 (65.8%) males and 64 (34.2%) females. Their ages ranged from 24 to 80 years, with a mean age of 44.81 ± 12.73 years. The mean duration of professional practice was 18.16 ± 11.9 years. Majority, 124 (66.3%) works in government-owned hospitals. Among the study participants, 93(49.7%) doctors had been diagnosed with different ocular diseases; 99(52.9%) had a family history of ocular problems; 94(50.3%) had used prescription lenses; and 51(27.3%) had medical conditions. One hundred and twelve (59.9%) had undergone at least eye examinations once, of which 54(48.2%) had their last eye examination over 5 years ago. The prevalence of eye check was 59.9% (95%CI: 52.9 – 66.9%). Eye checks were significantly associated with medical practice of over 20 years (P=0.030), working in a private practice (P=0.001), having eye diseases such as cataract (P=0.006), refractive error (P˂0.001), presbyopia (P˂0.001), and use of prescription spectacles (P˂0.001). ‘Belief of not having eye problems’ and ‘No time’ which accounted for 58.7% and 24.0% respectively were the commonest reasons for not regularly having eye examinations.
Conclusion: Poor attitude to periodic eye examinations was seen in medical doctors in south east Nigeria.
- eye checks
- medical doctors
How to Cite
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