Date Published: April 23, 2019
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Author(s): Yezinsh Addis Alimaw, Mohammed Seid Hussen, Tsehay Kassa Tefera, Betelhem Temesgen Yibekal, Asaf Achiron.
The aim of this study was to assess knowledge regarding cataract and associated factors among adults in Gondar town Northwest Ethiopia.
A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted on 836 adults age ≥18years, using multi-stage systematic random sampling technique, in Gondar town Northwest Ethiopia from April 15-May 7, 2017. Data were collected using pre-tested structured questionnaires through face to face interview. The collected data was entered to Epi info version 7 and analyzed using SPSS version 20. Binary logistic regression was used to identify associated factors. Those variables with p-value <0.05 and confidence interval ≠ 1 in multivariable logistic regression were considered as statistically significant factors for knowledge regarding cataract. Among 845 eligible adults, 98.9% (836) of them were fully participated. The median age of participants was 28 years with an interquartile range of 17 years. Of the total participants, 67.2% (562) of them had awareness about cataract [95% CI, 63.8–70.2]. Among 562 participants, 61.7% of them had good knowledge about cataract [95% CI, 57.5–66.00]. It was also found that higher level of education [AOR = 2.86, 95%CI: 1.37–5.96], higher family monthly income [AOR = 1.92, 95%CI: 1.03–3.57], having previous eye examination [AOR = 1.53, 95% CI: 1.02–2.31] and positive family history of cataract [AOR = 1.76, 95%CI: 1.03–3.01] were positively associated with good knowledge. Significant portion of the participants had good knowledge about cataract, which was positively associated with higher level of education, higher family monthly income, presence of previous eye examination and positive family history of cataract. However, significant knowledge gap regarding the risk factors and prevention strategies was recognized. Hence, it might be logical to pay special attention in prospering knowledge on how to prevent the occurrence of the disease.
Cataract is the opacity of the natural human lens, which may be resulted from congenital, developmental and acquired causes. Cataract is the leading causes of blindness worldwide, which accounts about more than half of 39 million blind people worldwide, and its blindness effect increases particularly in Sub Saharan Africa [1–4]. In Ethiopia 50% of blindness is caused by cataract . It affects all age groups even though it is highly prevalent in people’s age greater 50 years [4, 6–8]. It is the most avoidable condition if timely intervention is instituted. Otherwise, it results in different catastrophic complications that end up with irreversible blindness . As a result, its negative psycho-social economic impact is manifested at individual, family and community level [10, 11].
Favorable knowledge about cataract reduces the burden of the blindness due to cataract since it helps them to know how to delay the occurrence of the disease and initiates to take timely interventions [12, 14, 15]. In this study, 61.7% of the participants had good knowledge about cataract. Even if majority participants (more than 60%) had encouraging knowledge about symptoms, complications, curability and treatment modalities, most of them (>60%) had knowledge gap concerning to the risk factors and the prevention strategies. About 36.8% of the participants reported that their main source of information was their family/friends followed by medical personnel 32%. It was also found that good knowledge was noted in participants having higher educational level, higher income, previous eye examination and family history of cataract.
Significant portion of the participants had good knowledge about cataract, which was positively associated with higher level of education, higher family monthly income, presence of previous eye examination and positive family history of cataract. However, significant knowledge gap regarding the risk factors and prevention strategies was recognized. Hence, it might be logical to pay special attention how to prevent the occurrence of the disease. So, it is recommended for national and regional ministry of health offices to organize different health education programs focusing on risk factors and different prevention methods to delay occurrence of the disease. It is also recommended for researchers to conduct further similar studies in rural districts and consider different methods to include street adults and adults in firms to get more generalizable result.