Knowledge and attitude of eye hospital patients towards chronic open angle glaucoma in Onitsha
Introduction: Chronic Open Angle Glaucoma is the second commonest cause of blindnmess in the world and a leading cause of irreversible blindness. Most people with glaucoma are usually unaware that they have the disease until significant loss of vision has occurred. We aim to determine the knowledge and attitude of glaucoma amongst patients aged 30 years and above. Method: Semi-structured questionnaires were administered to consecutive patients seen in Guinness Eye Hospital, Onitsha, Ist to 30th November 2008. the data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) computer software.
Result: Four hundred and fifty-five (86.7% of respondents) patients knew about glaucoma. The male/female ratio was 1:1.1. Relations and friends topped the list of sources of information for glaucoma. 180(39.5%) of the respondents had no idea regarding the possible causes of glaucoma. 31.8% of the patients knew that glaucoma ran in families. Fear of visual loss was the main cause of rejection of surgery as a treatment modality.
Conclusion: The study showed that knowledge of glaucoma is still very low in this environment. Fear of visual loss and cost are the major reasons for non-acceptance of surgery as a mode of treatment. The eye care providers should evolve a culture of useful health education and couseling regarding glaucoma, an irreversibly blindness disease.
Key words: knowledge, attitude, eye hospital patients, chronic open angle, glaucoma, Onitsha