Original Research

Knowledge, attitude, perception and education on contact lenses for refractive errors in Kenya

Chikasirimobi G. Timothy, Diane W. van Staden, Harun C. Chepkeitany, Levi U. Osuagwu, Nathan Shaviya
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 82, No 1 | a738 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v82i1.738 | © 2023 Chikasirimobi G. Timothy, Diane W. van Staden, Harun C. Chepkeitany, Levi U. Osuagwu, Nathan Shaviya | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 January 2022 | Published: 04 August 2023

About the author(s)

Chikasirimobi G. Timothy, Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, School of Public Health, Biomedical Sciences and Technology, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kakamega, Kenya
Diane W. van Staden, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Harun C. Chepkeitany, Department of Health Education, School of Public Health, Biomedical Sciences and Technology, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kakamega, Kenya
Levi U. Osuagwu, Obesity and Metabolism Translational Research Unit (DOMTRU), School of Medicine | Diabetes, Macarthur Clinical School, Western Sydney University, Campbelltown, New South Wales, Australia
Nathan Shaviya, Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, School of Public Health, Biomedical Sciences and Technology, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kakamega, Kenya

Abstract

Background: Globally, contact lenses are an important part of the management process for refractive errors. Contact lenses are accepted widely in developed countries, but they are currently less used in developing countries like Kenya.

Aim: To assess the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions (KAP) (both pre- and post-education) to contact lens uptake specifically for correction of refractive errors by patients attending a Kenyan University Eye Clinic.

Setting: Academic Vision Centre, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kakamega, Kenya.

Methods: A quasi-experimental cross-sectional study was performed by reviewing all records from February 2014 to March 2020; 360 records were purposively selected. Thereafter, a structured questionnaire with educative content on contact lenses was administered by phone and online to determine KAP. Responses were collected over a period of one month. Knowledge, attitudes and perceptions were categorised and scored, and descriptive statistics and paired t-tests were used for data analysis.

Results: More women (58.3%) and mostly students (59.2%) participated, with ages from 16 to 38 years (mean age and standard deviation of 22.85 ± 4.32). Overall, there was poor knowledge of contact lenses for refractive errors (96.7%). Attitudes to contact lenses were unfavourable, both pre- and post-education (94.7% and 92.8%). Perceptions of contact lens uptake were negative pre-education (92.5%) but positive post-education (95.3%).

Conclusion: Education changed perceptions of contact lens usage for refractive errors correction, but even with some focused education, negative attitudes and poor knowledge regarding contact lenses persisted in the sample. Practitioners should inform patients about contact lenses as a possibility for refractive error management, and institutions training eye care providers should consolidate their clinical teaching regarding contact lenses.

Contribution: This study showed that the more people with refractive errors are knowledgeable about contact lenses, the more uptake of contact lenses will happen, optometrists and ophthalmologists should educate people more on contact lenses.

 


Keywords

knowledge; attitude; perception; contact lenses; contact lens uptake; refractive errors

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