Near vision spectacle coverage and barriers to near vision correction among adults in the Cape Coast Metropolis of Ghana
Purpose: To determine the near vision spectacle coverage and barriers to obtaining near vision correction among adults aged 35 years and older in the Cape Coast Metropolis of Ghana.
Methods: A population-based cross-sectional study design was adopted and 500 out of 576 participants aged 35 years and older were examined from 12 randomly selected clusters in Cape Coast, Ghana. All participants underwent a comprehensive eye examination which included: distance and near visual acuities measurements and external and internal ocular health assessments. Distance and near refractions were performed using subjective refraction technique. Information on participants’ demographics, near vision correction status, near visual needs and barriers to acquiring near vision correction were obtained through a questionnaire administered as part of the study.
Results: The mean age of participants was 52.3±10.3 years of whom 280 (56%) were females and 220 (44%) were males. The near vision spectacle coverage was 25%, 33% “met need” for near vision correction in the presbyopic population, and 64% unmet need in the entire study population. After controlling for other variables, age (5th and 6th decades) and educational level were associated with “met need” for near vision correction (OR=2.7 (1.55-4.68), p =0.00, and OR=2.36 (1.18-4.72), p=0.02 respectively). Among those who needed but did not have near vision correction, 64 (26%) did not feel the need for correction, 55 (22%) stated that they were unaware of available interventions, and 53 (21%) found the cost of near vision correction prohibitive.
Conclusion: There was a low near vision spectacle coverage in this population which suggests the need for strategies on health education and promotion to address the lack of awareness of spectacle need and cost of services.
Keywords: Presbyopia, near vision, spectacle coverage, unmet needs, Ghana