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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 603-607

Causes of delayed presentation of pediatric cataract: A questionnaire-based prospective study at a tertiary eye care center in central rural India

1 Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, Sadguru Netra Chikitsalaya and Post Graduate Institute of a Ophthalmology, Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh, India
2 Vitreoretina and Uvea, Sadguru Netra Chikitsalaya and Post Graduate Institute of a Ophthalmology, Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Pradhnya Sen
Consultant and Head of Department, Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, Children Eye Care Center, Sadguru Netra Chikitsalaya and Post Graduate Institute of Ophthalmology, Jankikund, Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_872_19

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Purpose: To find out the sociodemographic, sociocultural, and socioeconomic factors leading to delay in pediatric cataract surgery and its impact on final visual outcome. Methods: A prospective interview-based analytical cohort study was conducted on 156 children aged 0–16 years with either unilateral or bilateral congenital/developmental cataracts. Caregivers were interviewed using a pretested validated questionnaire. Time intervals between recognition by a caregiver to consultation were denoted as Delay-1 and between consultations to surgical intervention as Delay-2. Spearman's rank correlation was used to determine the presence of correlation between causes of delay and visual outcome. Results: The mean age of presentation was 7.78 ± 4.34 years. Mothers were the first informant of the problem (n = 110, 70.5%). Out of 156 children, only 8 (5.1%) children presented to the hospital within 1 month by caregivers and 26 (16.7%) children underwent surgery within 2 months of advice. About 22 (14.1%) children had total cumulative delay of 1–6 months, 11 (7%) had delay of 6–12 months, and 115 (73.71%) had delay of >12 months. The most common cause identified for Delay-1 was unawareness in 41 cases (26.28%), however, for Delay-2 major factor responsible was cost (n = 38, 24.35%). The median preoperative visual acuity was 1.31 logMAR and median postoperative visual acuity at 4 weeks was 0.61 logMAR. (P < 0.001) Less age at surgery, upper socioeconomic status, less time delay, and better preoperative vision were positively correlated to better visual outcomes. Conclusion: Delay in presentation for childhood cataract surgery remains a significant problem in central rural India. Delay in surgery is multifactorial which includes unawareness, cost, misdiagnosis, self-treatment, distance from the hospital, lack of family support, and poor socioeconomic status.

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