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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 133-136

Barriers to the uptake of cataract surgery in patients presenting to a hospital

Department of Ophthalmology, UCMS and GTB Hospital, Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Upreet Dhaliwal
A-61, Govindpuram, Ghaziabad - 201 002, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.30708

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Purpose: To assess the barriers for the acceptance of surgery among patients with cataract and visual disability. Materials and Methods: A short-term descriptive study was conducted in patients with cataract presenting to a hospital. Socio-demographic data were entered in a proforma. An interviewer-assisted questionnaire, surveying knowledge about cataract and barriers to cataract surgery, was administered by one of the authors (SKG) in the local language (Hindi). Results: There were 100 patients (53 men and 47 women); 14 were bilaterally blind (vision <10/200 in the better eye). Attitudinal barriers included: could manage daily work (71%), cataract not mature (68%), could see clearly with the other eye (64%), too busy (57%), female gender (37%), fear of surgery (34%), fear of surgery causing blindness (33%) or death (13%), old age (33%), it is God's will (29%) and worry about cost of surgery (27%). The barriers relating to service delivery, cost, and affordability included: insufficient family income (76%), not knowing another person who had undergone cataract surgery (26%), no one to accompany (20%), distance from hospital (20%) or from a main road (9%) and lack of transport (7%). Conclusions: Attitudinal barriers were reported more often, rather than issues of accessibility or cost. Eye care providers should address the identified barriers for increasing acceptance of surgery in the study area.

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