Impact of cataract screening outreach in rural China.

Zhang M, Wu J, Li L, Xu D, Lam DS, Lee J, Griffiths S, Congdon N.

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PURPOSE: To examine differences between patients with cataract detected during screening and presenting to clinic in rural China. METHODS: Subjects were recruited from 27 screenings and an eye clinic in the same town. All had pinhole-corrected vision < or =6/18 in > or =1 eye due to ophthalmologist-diagnosed cataract. Subjects were administered a previously validated questionnaire on barriers to surgery in four areas: knowledge (K), perceptions of quality (Q), transportation (T), and cost (C). RESULTS: Screening group (SG; n = 120) and clinic group (CG; n = 120) participants did not differ from eligible, examined screening and clinic patients respectively in age, gender, or vision. SG participants were significantly more likely to be female (P = 0.002) and had a smaller housing area and less education (P < 0.001 for both) than those in the CG. Those in the CG were more likely to be blind (habitual VA < or = 6/60) in the better-seeing eye (P = 0.05) and more willing to undergo and pay for cataract surgery (P < 0.001 for both) than SG. In logistic regression models, SG subjects had significantly lower quality scores (P < 0.001) and better habitual vision (P = 0.02) than did CG participants, and SG subjects who agreed to cataract surgery (78.3%) had significantly higher knowledge scores (P < 0.001) than those who refused. DISCUSSION: Screening outreach has the potential to ameliorate disparities in access to cataract surgery in rural China, as it appears more likely to detect patients with cataract with gender-related, economic, educational, and attitudinal barriers to surgery. However, education may be needed to convince screening subjects to undergo surgery.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInvestigative Opthalmology and Visual Science
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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    Zhang M, Wu J, Li L, Xu D, Lam DS, Lee J, Griffiths S, Congdon N. (2010). Impact of cataract screening outreach in rural China. Investigative Opthalmology and Visual Science.