Utilization of eye care services among students attending schools for the hearing impaired in Oyo State, South-west Nigeria
Background: Vision screening and detection of ophthalmic disorders in hearingimpaired individuals is important to optimise their visual function and therefore, their quality of life.
Objective: To determine the utilisation of eye care services among students attending schools for the hearing impaired in Oyo State, Nigeria.
Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted among hearingimpaired students aged 11 years and above. Using systematic random sampling, participants were selected from four schools. An interviewer administered semistructured questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic data and information on history of eye symptoms and utilisation of eye care services. Data analysis was performed using the IBM SPSS software version 22 and test of association done using chi-square test with level of statistical significance set at p-value <0.05.
Results: A total of 335 students were recruited into the study. Mean age was 17 ± 2.9 years (range 11 - 39 years). Only 147 (43.9%) respondents had utilised eye care services in the past. Some of the reasons given for non-utilisation include financial constraints and lack of an escort to the hospital.
Conclusion: This study has demonstrated that the rate of utilisation of eye care services among the studied population is suboptimal. Therefore, it is essential for government, eye care providers and other stakeholders to design and implement policies and eye care programmes that would improve the uptake of eye care services among hearing-impaired individuals. This will reduce the compounding effect of visual impairment in such individuals
Keywords: Hearing impaired, Visual impairment, Children, Students, Eye-care utilisation.
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