Original Research

Spectacle utilisation rate and reasons for non-compliance with wearing of spectacles amongst primary school children in Onitsha, Anambra state, Nigeria

Ngozika E. Ezinne, Khathutshelo P. Mashige, Obinna F. Akano, Alex A. Ilechie, Kingsley K. Ekemiri
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 79, No 1 | a544 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v79i1.544 | © 2020 Ngozika E. Ezinne, Khathutshelo P. Mashige, Obinna F. Akano, Alex A. Ilechie, Kingsley K. Ekemiri | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 October 2019 | Published: 06 August 2020

About the author(s)

Ngozika E. Ezinne, Discipline of Optometry, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; and, Optometry Unit, DCSS, University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica
Khathutshelo P. Mashige, Discipline of Optometry, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Obinna F. Akano, I and Eye Optometry, Bronx, New York, United States
Alex A. Ilechie, Department of Optometry, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
Kingsley K. Ekemiri, Optometry Unit, DCSS, University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica


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Abstract

Background: Uncorrected refractive errors (REs) are becoming very common in children in developing countries, yet the use of spectacles and compliance to wear are not well documented in African children.

Aim: To determine spectacle utilisation rate and reasons for non-compliance with spectacle wear amongst primary school children.

Setting: Primary schools in Onitsha, Anambra state, Nigeria.

Methods: A stratified random cluster sampling procedure was used to select children aged 5–15 years in 17 primary schools. A total of 1020 were enumerated – 998 (97.8%) were examined, and 97 (9.7%) had RE (uncorrected visual acuity of 20/40 or worse in both eyes). A questionnaire interview using items derived from the revised Refractive Error Study in Children protocol was used to get information regarding reasons for spectacle wear non-compliance.

Results: Of the 97 children with RE, 20 wore their spectacles during the time of study, yielding a spectacle utilisation rate of 20.6%. Eleven (55%) of those wearing spectacles were females, 13 (65%) were myopic and the highest number (50%) of spectacle wearers was in the 8–10 years age category. Age, gender and type of RE were significantly associated with spectacle wear (p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant). The major reasons for non-compliance with spectacles wear were parental disapproval for using spectacles and misconceptions about wearing spectacles.

Conclusion: Spectacle utilisation amongst primary school children in Onitsha was low. These findings suggest the need for public awareness about the importance and benefits of wearing spectacles.


Keywords

spectacle utilisation rate; spectacle wear; refractive error; school children; non-compliance

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