Public knowledge, attitudes and practices related to eye diseases in Southern Indian population

Srinivasa Reddy Pallerla, Rohit C. Khanna, Krishnaiah Sannapaneni, Jill Keeffe


Background: This study was conducted to determine the level of the public knowledge, attitudes and practices related to common eye diseases in the southern Indian population.

Methods: A cross sectional population-based survey used a semi structured questionnaire on awareness, knowledge, attitude and practices related to eye diseases. Stratified multistage cluster random sampling method was used with a sample size of 867 adults >16 years based on, estimated awareness of cataract 70%, assuming an expected rate of 85%, design effect of 1.5, margin of error 4% with 95% confidence interval with 25% from urban areas and 75% from rural areas. A pilot study was conducted to validate the questions used in the main study. SPSS (version 19) used for analysis.

Results: A total of 782/867 (90.1%) subjects participated in the survey, with females 47.4%. Awareness of major eye diseases for cataract 81.5%, glaucoma 47.8%, refractive error 74.3%, squint 89.0%, diabetic retinopathy 65.0% and age-related macular degeneration 36.7% respectively. 41.8% subjects reported wearing glasses either for distance, near or for both. Of the 777 subjects only 294 people underwent an eye examination by an ophthalmologist in the last two years (37.8%). 57.5% subjects had knowledge of the nearest eye care facility within five kilometers of their residence. Electronic media were the major source of information on eye health.

Conclusions: Though the awareness levels of common eye diseases were quite high, the knowledge of cataract (10.4%) was poor. There is a need to increase the level of awareness for eye diseases like glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.


Attitudes, Awareness, Eye diseases, General public, Knowledge

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