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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 65  |  Issue : 12  |  Page : 1483-1488

Awareness and eye health-seeking practices for cataract among urban slum population of Delhi: The North India eye disease awareness study

1 Dr. R. P. Centre Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Biostatistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Praveen Vashist
Room No 787, 7th Floor, Dr. R. P. Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_585_16

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Purpose: The objective of the study was to assess the awareness and health-seeking practices related to cataract in urban slums of Delhi. Methods: This study design was a population-based cross-sectional study. Participants aged 18–60 years were recruited from randomly selected five slums of South Delhi. They were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule on awareness and eye health-seeking practices related to cataract. The practices were recorded if the respondents themselves or any other member of the family was diagnosed with cataract in previous 2 years. Results: A total of 1552 respondents participated in the study, of which, 89.9% had heard of cataract but only (42%) were aware of any symptom of cataract. The common symptoms of cataract reported by the participants were white opacity in eyes (25.9%) and loss of vision (20.6%). Surgery as a treatment of cataract was known to only 559 (40.1%) participants. Awareness about surgery as treatment of cataract was significantly higher among people aged 45–60 years (adjusted odds ratio = 2.89, 95% confidence interval = 2.11–3.97) and in educated people (adjusted OR = 3.69 95% CI = 2.37–5.73). Out of 84 respondents who had been diagnosed with cataract, the health-seeking practices were observed by 70 (83.3%) participants. Among them, 51 (72.9%) had undergone surgery and another 19 (27.1%) had been advised to wait for surgery. Most of the operated patients 48 (94.1%) attended the postoperative follow-up. Conclusion: The study findings suggest the majority of participants have heard of cataract, but there is low awareness of its symptoms and treatment, and good eye health-seeking practices observed for cataract in urban slum population. Gaps in awareness observed can be filled up by implementing proper eye health education programs.

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