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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 50  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-3 Table of Contents     

Knowledge and attitude of eye hospital patients towards chronic open angle glaucoma in Onitsha


Guinness Eye Center, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Onitsha, Nigeria

Date of Web Publication16-Nov-2010

Correspondence Address:
L O Onyekwe
Guinness Eye Center, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Onitsha
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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   Abstract 

Introduction:Chronic Open Angle Glaucoma is the second commonest cause of blindness in the world and a leading cause of irreversible blindness. Most people with glaucoma are usually unaware that they have the disease until significant loss of vision has occurred. We aim to determine the knowledge and attitude of glaucoma amongst patients aged 30 years and above.
Method:Semi-structured questionnaires were administered to consecutive patients seen in Guinness Eye Hospital, Onitsha, 1st to 30 th November 2008. The data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) computer software.
Result:Four hundred and fifty-five (86.7% of respondents) patients knew about glaucoma. The male/female ratio was 1:1.1. Relations and friends topped the list of sources of information for glaucoma. 180(39.5%) of the respondents had no idea regarding the possible causes of glaucoma. 31.8% of the patients knew that glaucoma ran in families. Fear of visual loss was the main cause of rejection of surgery as a treatment modality.
Conclusion:The study showed that knowledge of glaucoma is still very low in this environment. Fear of visual loss and cost are the major reasons for non-acceptance of surgery as a mode of treatment. The eye care providers should evolve a culture of useful health education and couseling regarding glaucoma, an irreversibly blindness disease.

Keywords: knowledge, attitude, eye hospital patients, chronic open angle, glaucoma, Onitsha


How to cite this article:
Onyekwe L O, Okosa M C, Apakarna A I. Knowledge and attitude of eye hospital patients towards chronic open angle glaucoma in Onitsha. Niger Med J 2009;50:1-3

How to cite this URL:
Onyekwe L O, Okosa M C, Apakarna A I. Knowledge and attitude of eye hospital patients towards chronic open angle glaucoma in Onitsha. Niger Med J [serial online] 2009 [cited 2019 Aug 25];50:1-3. Available from: http://www.nigeriamedj.com/text.asp?2009/50/1/1/71927


   Introduction Top


Chronic Ope Angle Glaucoma refers to a group of ocular characteristic pattern of neuropathy and visual field defect with increase in intraocular pressure as a major risk factor [1] . It is the second commonest cause of blindness in the world and a leading cause of irreversible blindness [2] . Though intraocular pressure is a significant risk factor there is no set threshold for intraocular pressure that causes glaucoma. In Nigeria, glaucoma in people over 40 years has been estimated to be over 10% in incidence [3] . The devastating effect of this disease is often neglected. Most people with glaucoma are usually unaware that they have the disease until significant loss of vision has occurred.

Everybody is at risk of developing glaucoma, but it is more common in people above 30 years of age, the elderly, blacks, and people with family history of glaucoma or refractive errors [4] . Systemic disease like diabetes mellitus also predisposes to glaucoma. A study by the Glaucoma Research Foundation found out that 8.8% of Caucasians did not know anything about glaucoma and 16.1 % African-Americans were unfamiliar with glaucoma [5] .

A good knowledge of the risk factors, symptoms and treatment modalities would help people at risk to seek appropriate medical attention. This would surely reduce the scourage of this disease. This study was therefore aimed at determining the knowledge and attitude of glaucoma amongst patients aged 30 years and above, seen at Guinness Eye Hospital, Onitsha.


   Methodology Top


This study was carried out in Guinness Eye Hospital, Onitsha. This is the only public Eye Hospital East of the Niger River. It is ophthalmic wing of Nnamdi Aziliwe University Teaching Hospital.

A semi structured questionnaire was administered to consecutive patients 30 years and older, seen in the hospital within the study period, 1 st to 30 th November 2008. The data was analyzed using SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Scientists) computer software. The analysis done include tables showing age and sex distribution of respondents, determination of the in male/female ratio, diagnoses made on the patients seen, sources of information about glaucoma, knowledge of glaucoma, treatment modalities and acceptance of surgery as a treatment modality. The total number of patients seen in the hospital within the study period was determined.


   Results Top


Six hundred and twenty eight patients were served the questionnaire and 525 were returned and analyzed. The response rate was 83.5%. Total number of patients seen in the hospital within the study period, 1 st to 30 th November 2008 was 982. Four hundred and fifty five (86.7%) of the respondents know about glaucoma with a male:female ratio of 1.2:1. The commonest disease diagnosed was allergic conjunctivitis (20.2%), followed by cataract (19.9%) then glaucoma (14.9%).

Surgery as a mode of treatment: Two hundred and forty six (46.9%) would accept surgery as a mode of treatment. 279(53.1 %) rejected surgery as a treatment modality.[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7], [Table 8].
Table 1: Age and Sex distribution of the respondents

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Table 2: Diagnosis of all patients seen

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Table 3: Sources of Information on glaucoma

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Table 4: Knowledge of Possible Causes of Glaucome

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Table 5: Knowledge of Treatment Modalities of Glaucoma

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Table 6: Knowledge of People at risk of having Glaucoma

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Table 7: Possible actions by respondents if they have glaucoma

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Table 8: Respondet's Reasons for Non Acceptance of Surgery as a Mode of Treatment

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   Discussion Top


Gluacoma, pratricularly the chronic open angle glaucoma, is commoner under the age of 30 years [6] . This study shows that 455(86.7%) of the respondents know about glaucoma. This disagrees with a study by Bekibele and Oluleye [7] which found only 36.4% of the respondents knowing about glaucoma. this disparity may be attributed to the variation in the sample size of the studies for Bekibele and Oluleye's study involved only 22 respondents and the study was also carried out 10 years ago. This study shows that of the 455 patients that know about glaucoma 38.7% and 31.5% got their information from relations and health workers respectively. Health workers in Bekibele and Oluyele's study accounted for 19% of the sources in cataract to this study.

This study shows that the information media and the church which are very good sources of information dissemination have not been adequately utilized in reaching the populace as far as glaucoma is concerned, having accounted for only 8.1% and 4.8% of the information sources respectively.

Regarding the possible causes of glaucoma 207(39.5%) of the respondents had no knowledge of a possible cause. This disagrees with the study by Bekibele and Oluleye [7] in which 63% had no idea. In this study inheritance and old age are seen as possible causes by 25.8% and 22.6% of the respondents respectively. These two beliefs will in no doubt affect the acceptability and time of seeking treatment for glaucoma. In this study 46.6% of the respondents had no knowledge of people at risk of being afflicted by glaucoma. 167(3.8%) of the respodents believe that glaucoma runs in families. This is a contrast with other studies [5],[7] . Even the knowledge that glaucoma can run in families has not helped early hospital visitation and acceptability of glaucoma treatment.

Though the study showed that 85% of the respondents would see a medical personal when they have glaucoma, a significant number 26(5%) would still do otherwise. This calls for serious health education campaign regarding glaucoma as an important cause of blindness and the appropriate treatment. 39.8% knew surgery as a treatment modality. A significant 15.4% had no idea of the modality of treatment while 9.2% knew about use of glasses. These two groups would easily fall prey to quacks should they have glaucoma. Surgery as a mode of treatment was rejected by 279(53.1%) of the respondents. Amongst those that rejected surgery as a possible mode of treatment 48.2% had fear of visual loss as their reason for rejection and 62(22.3%) rejected surgery because of cost. The need to educate the public on glaucoma and treatment modalities need not be over emphasized. The eye care providers need to be equally cautions to ensure a good prognostic outcome of treatment because surgical outcome affects acceptability of surgery as a mode of treatment [7] . There is need for economic empowerment of the citizens to enhance uptake of eye care services available in the hospital.


   Conclusion Top


The study showed that knowledge of glaucoma as a blinding disease is still at very low in this environment. There is a serious need for health education on glaucoma and the treatment modalities available. The information media need to be involved or utilized appropriately by the eye care providers in glaucoma health education. The eye care providers should evolve a culture of useful health education and counseling.

 
   References Top

1.AmericanAcademy of Ophthalmology. Basic and Basic Science course. Glaucoma 2007-2008 Edition; Section 10: 83-117.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Thylefors B., Negrel A. D. The global impact of glaucoma. Bulletin of World Health Organization. 1994; 72- 322-326.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Olurin O. Primary glaucoma in Nigeria. East African Medical Journal 1972; 49: 475.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Hollows F. C., Graham P. A. Intraocular Pressure, Glaucoma and Glaucoma suspect in a defined population. Br. J. Ophthalmol 1966,50: 570-586.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.Pfeiffer N., Krioglstein G. K. Knowledge about glaucoma in the unselected population. A German survey Invest Ophthalmol 1993,34:1192-3.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.Sandford-Smith J. Eye Diseases in hot climates. Great Britain, Butterworth-Heinemann 2nd Edition, 1992; 161.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.Bekibele C. O., Oluleye T. S. Acceptability of Surgery for the Primary Treatment of Chronic. Open Angle Glaucoma a Preliminary Report. Nig. Journal of Ophthalmology, 1999, 7(1): 5-9.  Back to cited text no. 7
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7], [Table 8]



 

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    Abstract
    Introduction
    Methodology
    Results
    Discussion
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