Parents’ reasons for nonadherence to referral to follow-up eye care for schoolchildren who failed school-based vision screening in Cross River State, Nigeria—A descriptive qualitative study

Lynne Lohfeld*, Christine Graham, Anne Effiom Ebri, Nathan Congdon, Ving Fai Chan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Uncorrected refractive error (URE) is a major cause of vision impairment in children worldwide. Cases are often detected through a school-based vision screening program and then treated in a follow-up appointment. This requires parents or guardians (‘parents’) to adhere to referrals for the eye exam and care plan. We aim to understand the reasons for parents’ referral non-adherence in Cross River State, Nigeria, using qualitative methods.

Methods: Ten focus groups were held with parents who had not adhered to the referral for a follow-up eye examination. Participants were recruited with help from staff in schools hosting the vision screening programme. Interviews were conducted using a semi-structured interview guide, audio taped and transcribed verbatim. After identifying relevant quotes, the researchers labelled each one with a descriptive code/subcode label. Then they clustered the data into categories and overarching themes.

Results: Forty-four parents participated in 10 focus group discussions with 28 women and 16 men. Three themes and participated in the focus group discussions with 28 women (63%). Twelve themes were generated. The three megathemes were Modifiable Factors (with 4 themes), Contextual Factors (with 6 themes), and Recommendations (with 2 themes).

Conclusion: Participants identified modifiable barriers that make it difficult for parents to adhere to a referral for a follow-up eye exam. These include not believing their child has a vision problem or the screening test, and issues with the referral letter. They also described important contextual factors such as poverty, logistical problems, parental attitudes towards their children and beliefs about appropriate care. Many of these issues could be addressed by following their recommendation to educate the public on the importance of child eye care and correct parents’ misconceptions. These themes will be used by the Nigerian government to enhance and scale up its child eye health programme.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0259309
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume16
Issue number11
Early online date18 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 18 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Research Article
  • Biology and life sciences
  • Medicine and health sciences
  • Social sciences
  • People and places
  • Research and analysis methods

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Parents’ reasons for nonadherence to referral to follow-up eye care for schoolchildren who failed school-based vision screening in Cross River State, Nigeria—A descriptive qualitative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this