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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 969-974

Factors limiting the Northeast Indian elderly population from seeking cataract surgical treatment: Evidence from Kolasib district, Mizoram, India


1 Mission for Vision, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Synod Hospital, Aizawl, Mizoram, India

Correspondence Address:
S G Prem Kumar
Mission For Vision, Office 45, Maker Chamber VI, 220 Jamnalal Bajaj Marg, Nariman Point, Mumbai - 400 021, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_1184_17

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Purpose: Reliable data on the barriers to the uptake of cataract surgical services in the Northeast Indian states are scanty. The purpose of this study was to assess the barriers to uptake of cataract surgical services among elderly patients and suggest appropriate strategies to reduce these. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among patients who failed to avail cataract surgical services, 6–12 months' postinitial diagnosis at a community eye health camp. Validated questionnaire was used to collect information through face-to-face interviews at the residence of the participants. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square tests were conducted to assess the association between the barriers quoted and sociodemographic variables. Results: A total of 140 (89.2%) individuals participated in the study, of whom 56 (40%) were aged between 71 and 80 years. The median age for men and women was 73.5 and 72.5 years, respectively. About 57% of participants were female patients. A total of 66 (47.1%) participants had borderline visual acuity followed by those with poor vision (41.4%, n = 58). “Bad roads/difficult terrain” (P = 0.009), “witnessed bad surgical outcomes in others” and “did not feel important” (P < 0.024), “poor overall health status” (P < 0.001), “lack of information” (P = 0.025) and “no escort” (P = 0.025) were significant barriers reported by this population. Conclusion: Most of the barriers reported in this study seem to be endogenous in nature and appear to be within the purview of the local eye care service provider to remedy. Counseling and targeted awareness and information, education, and communication strategies could nullify many of the barriers reported in this study.


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