Original Research

Knowledge, attitudes and self-care practices of patients with glaucoma in uThungulu in KwaZulu-Natal

Aita V. Aghedo, Boikhutso Tlou, Saajida Mahomed
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 77, No 1 | a442 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v77i1.442 | © 2018 Aita V. Aghedo, Boikhutso Tlou, Saajida Mahomed | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 January 2018 | Published: 13 September 2018

About the author(s)

Aita V. Aghedo, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Boikhutso Tlou, School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Saajida Mahomed, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Background: Glaucoma remains one of the leading causes of blindness in South Africa. Early detection, effective treatment and strict compliance with treatment are instrumental to prevent further damage to the optic nerve and thus preserve vision.

Aim: The purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitude and self-care practices of patients with glaucoma in KwaZulu-Natal.

Setting: The study was conducted in the ophthalmology outpatient department of a public hospital and a private ophthalmology practice in the uThungulu district.

Methods: This was an observational, analytic, cross-sectional study. Structured questionnaires assessing knowledge, attitudes and self-care practices were administered to patients presenting for follow-up glaucoma management.

Results: The median age of the 384 patients in this study was 60 (interquartile range [IQR] 48.5–69.5) and 59 years (IQR 49.0–66.5) for males and females, respectively (p > 0.05). Two hundred and thirty-eight (62.0%) patients had good knowledge of glaucoma. Age, gender and duration of glaucoma diagnosis were significantly associated with good knowledge of glaucoma. Three hundred and forty-four (89.6%) patients reported having good self-care practices. Patients over the age of 65 years were significantly less likely to have good self-care practices compared to patients aged 26–45 years (odds ratio [OR]: 0.2, confidence interval [CI]: 0.1–0.6, p = 0.01). Good knowledge of glaucoma was significantly associated with good self-care practices of glaucoma (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Elderly patients do not have sufficient knowledge of glaucoma and have poor self-care glaucoma practices. It is important to involve family members of these patients in the education and counselling of glaucoma to facilitate improved disease management.


Knowledge; attitudes; self-care practices; glaucoma


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Crossref Citations

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