Published: 2022-02-28

Awareness and knowledge about refractive errors and strabismus in South Indian population

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


Background: To assess the awareness, knowledge about refractive errors and strabismus among the general public in southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Methods: A cross sectional population-based survey used a semi structured questionnaire on awareness, knowledge on refractive errors and strabismus done as part of knowledge, attitude and practices study (KAP). Stratified multistage cluster random sampling method was used with a sample size of 867 adults- ≥16 years. Having heard of refractive error and strabismus was defined as awareness and having knowledge of the type of error for which spectacles were worn, was considered as knowledge. A pilot study was conducted to validate the questions used in the main study. Statistical package SPSS (version 19) was used for analysis to calculate logistic regression and odds ratios for gender, age, education and urban-rural areas.

Results: A total of 782/867 (90.1%) subjects participated in the survey with females 47.4%. 581 subjects (74.3%) were aware of refractive error. 690 subjects (88.2%) were aware of squint. With multiple logistic regression about awareness of refractive error to various variables, subjects who were educated 11th class to degree had a higher awareness (OR: 2.40; CI: 1.25-4.60). With multiple logistic regression about awareness of squint to various variables, females had a higher awareness of squint (OR: 1.98; CI: 1.19-3.31).

Conclusions: Awareness of squint and refractive error was high among the general public, but the knowledge of it was limited.


Awareness, Knowledge, Refractive errors, Squint, General public

Full Text:



Chew YK, Reddy SC, Karina R. Awareness and knowledge of common eye diseases among the academic staff (non-medical faculties) of University of Malaya. Med J Malaysia. 2004;59:305-11.

Thulasiraj RD, Aravind S, Pradhan K. Spectacles for the Millions Addressing a priority of "VISION 2020 -The Right to Sight". Community Ophthalmol. 2003;3:19-21.

Bourne RR, Dineen BP, Huq DM, Ali SM, Johnson GJ. Correction of refractive error in the adult population of Bangladesh: meeting the unmet need. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2004;45:410-17.

Resnikoff S, Pascolini D, Mariotti SP, Pokharel GP. Global magnitude of visual impairment caused by uncorrected refractive errors in 2004. Bull World Health Organ. 2008;86:63-70.

Shrestha GS, Digen Sujakhu, Joshi P. Refractive error among school children in Jhapa, Nepal. J Optom. 2011;4:49-55.

Kempen JH, Mitchell P, Lee KE, Tielsch JM, Broman AT. The prevalence of refractive errors among adults in the United States, Western Europe, and Australia. Arch Ophthalmol. 2004;122:495-505.

World Health Organization. Director-General's Office. Communications Office. Sight test and glasses could dramatically improve the lives of 150 million people with poor vision. Geneva: World Health Organization. 2006;2.

Zhao J, Pan X, Sui R, Munoz SR, Sperduto RD. Refractive Error Study in Children: results from Shunyi District, China. Am J Ophthalmol. 2000;129:427-35.

Naidoo KS, Raghunandan A, Mashige KP, Govender P, Holden BA. Refractive error and visual impairment in African children in South Africa. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2003;44:3764-70.

Dandona R, Dandona L, Srinivas M, Sahare P, Narsaiah S. Refractive error in children in a rural population in India. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2002;43:615-22.

Murthy GV, Gupta SK, Ellwein LB, Munoz SR, Pokharel GP. Refractive error in children in an urban population in New Delhi. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2002;43:623-31.

Marmamula S, Khanna RC, Shekhar K, Rao GN. A population-based cross-sectional study of barriers to uptake of eye care services in South India: the Rapid Assessment of Visual Impairment (RAVI) project. BMJ Open. 2014;4:e005125.

Yasmin S, Minto H. Community Perceptions of refractive errors in Pakistan. Comm Eye Health. 2007;20:52-3.

Pallerla SR, Khanna RC, Sannapaneni K, Keeffe J. Public knowledge, attitudes and practices related to eye diseases in Southern Indian population. Int J Community Med Public Health. 2020;7:4993.

Aldebasi Y. Young Public's Awareness to Refractive Error Deficiency. Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2011;5:9-15.

Isawumi MA, Ulaikere M, Adejumo OO, Adebayo M, Kekunnaya R. Awareness, perceptions and knowledge of strabismus among patients visiting a tertiary eye clinic in Southwest Nigeria. Int Ophthalmol. 2014;34:1037-42.

Hegde S, Mendonce N, Kamath BS, Vinay PG. Assessment of awareness and phychosocial impact of strabismus in rural India. IJBR. 2014;05:744-7.

Senthilkumar D, Balasubramaniam SM, Kumaran SE, Ramani KK. Parents' awareness and perception of children's eye diseases in Chennai, India. Optom Vis Sci. 2013;90:1462-6.

Rosman M, Wong TY, Wong W, Wong ML, Saw SM. Knowledge and beliefs associated with refractive errors and undercorrection: the Singapore Malay Eye Study. Br J Ophthalmol. 2009;93:4-10.

Ranjbar AKSM, Pourmazar R, Gohary I. Awareness and Attitude toward Refractive Error Correction Methods: A Population Based Study in Mashhad. Patient Saf Qual Impro. 2013;1:23-9.