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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 482-486

Awareness, knowledge, and practice: A survey of glaucoma in north Indian rural residents

1 Smt Jadhavabai Nathmal Singhvee Glaucoma Services, Sankara Netharalaya, Chennai, Tamil Nadu; Radhaswamy Eye Hospital, Barwala, Hisar, Haryana, India
2 Radhaswamy Eye Hospital, Barwala, Hisar, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Parveen Rewri
Sankara Nethralaya, 18 College Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai - 600 006, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.132105

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Background: Studies done on the prevalence of glaucoma have reported a high proportion of undiagnosed patients. Late diagnosis is related to increased risk of glaucoma associated with visual disability. Lack of awareness and non-availability of appropriate screening procedures are among the major reasons for non-diagnosis or late diagnosis of glaucoma. The present study has been undertaken to evaluate the level of awareness about glaucoma among the North Indian rural population. Materials and Methods: A group-administered, questionnaire-based survey, involving 5000 rural residents (aged 20 and above) was conducted through random sampling. The questionnaire was structured to evaluate the level of awareness and knowledge about glaucoma and the effect of gender, education status, and glaucoma diagnosis was also studied. The source of awareness about glaucoma was also questioned. Results: Of the 5000 individuals enrolled for the survey, responses from 4927 (98.5%; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 98.2 - 98.9) participants, including 3104 males (63%; 95% CI: 61.7 - 64.3) and 1823 females (37%; 95% CI: 35.7 - 38.3) were evaluated. A total of 409 (~8.3%; 95% CI: 7.6 - 9.14) respondents were aware about glaucoma and only 93 (1.89%; 95% CI: 1.55 - 2.31) were qualified as having knowledge about glaucoma as per the set questionnaire. Education was the only variable significantly correlated (P value < 0.001) with the awareness and knowledge of glaucoma out of the parameters included in this study. Close acquaintance with a glaucoma patient was the most common source of information. Conclusions: There is a lack of awareness about glaucoma among the rural residents of North India. The study findings stress the need to spread awareness about glaucoma for prevention of glaucoma-related blindness.

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