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Objective: To evaluate the knowledge, attitude and practice of eye health care amongst doctors in Lagos.
Methodology: Open and closed-ended questionnaires were given to respondents. The questionnaire contained information about age, sex, general knowledge as well as practice of eye care.
Results: A total of 104 questionnaires were analyzed with EPI INFO 2002 software. Out of 104 respondents, 65 [62.5%] were within the age group of 31-40years, with a male preponderance of 74% [male: female ratio of 2.8:1].
Most of the respondents [87.5%] were in teaching hospital practice. Symptoms most frequently referred to eye care specialists by respondents were in decreasing frequency, refractive error, blurred vision, red eye and cataract; most referrals were to teaching hospitals. Eighty six percent of respondents had themselves had previous ocular examination while 13.5% had never had any. Fifty eight respondents [55%] had been diagnosed with an ocular condition ranging from refractive error in most cases [67.2%], allergy [17.2], cataract [9.4%], glaucoma [1.5%] and other disease in 4.7%. Majority [84.6%] did not visit an eye care specialist often. In all, 37.5% of respondents felt strongly that eyes should be routinely examined while 52.9% did not feel strongly and 9.6% did not think it was necessary. The frequently prescribed drugs were antibiotic drops [68.1%], while 25% prescribed a combination of antibiotics and steroids.
Conclusion: The study showed that majority of respondents see a good percentage of patients with eye complaints and refers them accordingly. However a large proportion of respondents themselves did not believe they should visit eye care specialist yearly and thus may not be counsel patient who they see. There is therefore a need for regular awareness programmes on eye health by way of seminars and symposia amongst doctors.
NQJHM Vol. 14 (1) 2004: pp. 31-34