Year : 2015  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-6

The knowledge, perception, and attitude of patients living with glaucoma and attending the eye clinic of a secondary health care facility in South-East, Nigeria

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State, Nigeria
3 Department of Paediatrics, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Eberechukwu Ogbeanu Achigbu
Department of Ophthalmology, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo state
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Source of Support: Nil., Conflict of Interest: There are no conflicts of interest.

DOI: 10.4103/0189-9171.164498

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Background: In the developing countries, most patients present with advanced disease or glaucoma blindness. This has been attributed to lack of awareness and poor knowledge as major contributing factors. The outcome of glaucoma management, however, depends largely on the understanding and perception of the illness by the patients. Objectives: This study aims to determine the knowledge, perception, and attitude of patients living with glaucoma and attending the Eye Clinic of the Imo State Specialist Hospital Owerri Imo State, Nigeria. The information obtained can be utilized by the health authorities in planning eye health education programs. Subjects and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study involving all previously diagnosed glaucoma patients attending the eye clinic of the hospital during the study period. Data were collected on knowledge, perception, and social disclosure attitude of the subjects using a structured questionnaire. Results: Twenty-nine males and 25 females participated in this study. The majority (42.6%) had only primary school education with petty trading accounting for 38.9% of the different occupations. The mean age at presentation was 60.9 years. The majority (88.8%) identified their eye problem as glaucoma, 46.3% knew it caused a progressive, irreversible loss of vision, and most (68.5%) did not know glaucoma to be familial. Approximately 67% of the subjects rated their management as satisfactory, 37% considered the drugs expensive, 70% and 13%, respectively had no, and negative perception of glaucoma surgery while 87.0% had a poor disclosure attitude. Conclusion: The subjects had a good knowledge of their diagnosis but a poor knowledge of the disease process. There was also an appreciable poor disclosure attitude and a negative perception of glaucoma surgery. Education and interaction with eye care personnel and other glaucoma patients using focal groups may bring about the desired change.

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