Background/aims: Refractive errors, especially if undercorrected, are a common and important cause of poor vision, particularly in Asia. The knowledge and beliefs of refractive errors and possible impact of undercorrection in a population-based study in Singapore are described.
Methods: This study was a substudy on 503 subjects with refractive error from a population-based survey of 3280 adult Malays in Singapore aged 40 to 80 years. The Health Belief Model was used to develop a questionnaire, subjects with refractive errors were evaluated on their health beliefs towards adopting health-seeking behaviour for correction of refractive error, and the responses were compared between undercorrected subjects and subjects with corrected refractive errors.
Results: Of persons with myopia, 79.5% had heard of myopia, 79.2% of hyperopes had heard of hyperopia, while only 7.7% of those with astigmatism had heard of astigmatism. Adults who had never previously visited an eye-care specialist were less likely to have heard of astigmatism and to know that they have refractive error (p<0.01). Adults with undercorrected refractive error were more likely to be female (61.1% vs 49.3%) and not wear spectacles (41.7% vs 22.3%). Knowledge on astigmatism (1.4% vs 5.6%) and refractive errors (62.6% vs 77.5%) were significantly lower in the undercorrected group.
Conclusions: The lack of knowledge and awareness of refractive errors are important risk factors for undercorrected refractive error in an urban Singapore population.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Competing interests: None.
Funding: Funded by the National Medical Research Council (NMRC), 0796/2003 & the Biomedical Research Council (BMRC), 501/1/25-5, with support from the Singapore Prospective Study Program and the Singapore Tissue Network, A*STAR.
Ethics approval: Ethics approval was provided by The Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) ethics committee.
Patient consent: Obtained.