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Screening first-degree relatives of glaucoma patients reveals barriers to participation
  1. Sujani Shroff1,
  2. Sophie Z Gu2,
  3. Ashok Vardhan S3,
  4. Iswarya Mani4,
  5. Kanza Aziz2,
  6. Namperumalsamy P5,
  7. Dipankar Datta6,
  8. David S Friedman7
  1. 1 Glaucoma Services, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, India
  2. 2 Department of Ophthalmology, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  3. 3 Glaucoma Services, SV Aravind Eye Hospital, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India
  4. 4 Department of Biostatistics, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
  5. 5 Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, India
  6. 6 Cataract and Glaucoma Services, Aravind Eye Hospital, Theni, Tamil Nadu, India
  7. 7 Glaucoma Center of Excellence, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ashok Vardhan S, SV Aravind Eye Hospital, Tirupati, India; ashokvar{at}


Purpose To report the results of a glaucoma screening campaign targeting first-degree relatives of glaucoma patients in South India.

Methods 1598 glaucoma patients were contacted via letter or letter and phone call and asked to bring their siblings and children to a glaucoma screening. Participants underwent standardised eye examinations and completed questionnaires that assessed barriers to participation and awareness of glaucoma risk. Two-proportion z-tests were used to compare categorical data. Costs associated with the screening were recorded.

Results 206 probands (12.9%) attended the screening along with 50 siblings and children. Probands were nearly twice as likely to attend if they had been contacted via both letter and phone call rather than letter only. Over half of probands reported that their relatives could not participate because they did not live in the region, and one-fifth reported that their relatives had other commitments. Fifty-eight per cent of the siblings and children who attended did not know that they were at increased risk for glaucoma due to their family history, and 32.0% did not know that the relative who had invited them to the screening had glaucoma. Thirteen siblings and children (26.0% of those who attended) were found to have findings concerning for glaucoma. The average cost per first-degree relative who was screened was INR2422 (£26).

Conclusion Participation in this glaucoma screening campaign was poor. The major barrier to participation was distance from the screening site and associated indirect costs. Better strategies for bringing first-degree relatives in for examinations are needed.

  • glaucoma
  • public health
  • epidemiology
  • vision

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request.

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Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request.

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  • SS and SZG are joint first authors.

  • SS and SZG contributed equally.

  • Contributors AV and SS initially conceived the project. SS and SZG developed the analysis plan. IM conducted the statistical analysis. All authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript. DSF supervised the project.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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