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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 67  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 928-931

Habilitation services for children blind from retinopathy of prematurity: Health care professionals' perspective in Maharashtra

1 Department of Retina and Community Ophthalmology, H. V. Desai Eye Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Clinical Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
3 Department of Retina and ROP, Bharati Eye Hospital, Delhi; Raj Retina and Eye Care Centre, Patna, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sucheta Kulkarni
PBMA's H. V. Desai Eye Hospital, Mohammedwadi, Hadapsar, Pune - 411 060, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_573_18

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Purpose: To explore the knowledge of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and habilitation services for children with visual loss from ROP, among health care professionals (HCPs) involved in care of preterm children and to explore their attitudes and practices in relation to referral for habilitation. Methods: A modified knowledge, attitude and practice questionnaire were administered to ophthalmologists and paediatricians associated with ROP care. Data were collected about their knowledge, beliefs and practices of ROP and referral to rehabilitation facilities. Data were analysed to establish level of knowledge, type of attitude and practices and its association with speciality. Results: Response rate was 78% (25/32). Most (14/25, 56%) were ophthalmologists. All (100%) participants knew that ROP can cause blindness. Knowledge about Indian ROP screening criteria was poor among a third (8/25, 32%), more so in paediatricians (5/11, 45.5%). Most (21/25, 84%) did not have knowledge of what a habilitation service entails and where such facilities are located. More than two-thirds (18/25, 72%) believed that special education should be preferred over inclusive education. Overall, 10/25 (40%) of the HCPs had never referred a child for rehabilitation. More than a half (13/25, 52%) were not confident of counselling parents of blind children. All agreed that rehabilitation services are not part of but should be included in medical curriculum. Conclusion: Indian guidelines for ROP screening are not universally known among HCPs. Educating medical undergraduates, providing counselling training to professionals and integration of rehabilitation into the health system will ensure continuity of care for children with visual loss and their families.

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