The Impact of Knowledge and Attitudes on Access to Eye-Care Services in Cambodia

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This article was originally published as:

Ormsby, G. M., Arnold, A., Busija, L., Morchen, M., Bonn, T.S. & Keefe, J. E.(2012). The impact of knowledge and attitudes on access to eye-care services in Cambodia. Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology, 1(6), 331-335. doi:10.1097/APO.0b013e31826d9e06

ISSN: 2162-0989


111301 Ophthalmology| 111706 Epidemiology

Avondale Research Centre

Lifestyle Research Centre

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Purpose: To investigate how knowledge and attitudes influence the access to eye-care services in Takeo Province, Cambodia.

Design: A cross-sectional survey (n=600).

Methods: 30 villages were randomly selected. Groups included: >50 years, 30-49 years, and parents with children Knowledge, Attitude and Practice in Eye Health (KAP-EH) questionnaire about knowledge and treatment of eye diseases, practices and attitudes to accessing services was used to interview respondents. Descriptive analysis, including Chi square and logistic regression tested for associations with sub-groups of gender, age group, education and self-reported type of disability.

Results: The proportion of respondents who reported having knowledge of specific eye conditions ranged from 97% for eye injury, to 8% for diabetic eye disease. While 509 (85%) people reported knowledge of cataract, 47% did not know how cataract was treated and only 19% listed surgery. The older group (66.5%) were least informed about cataract (p= 0.001) compared to other groups, and were least likely to believe that some blindness could be prevented (p < 0.001). Women (55%) were more likely than men (46%) (p=0 .003) to report that a child with blindness could attend school, as did people without a disability compared to those with a disability (58% vs 34%) (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: The knowledge about cataract and refractive error and what to do to resolve the problems was low among this population and this study suggests that poor knowledge of eye diseases might contribute to the occurrence of un-operated cataract and uncorrected refractive error.


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At the time of writing Gail Ormsby was affiliated with CBM Australia, Centre for Eye Research Australia, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Melbourne, and Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Melbourne, Australia