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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 144-149

The knowledge and attitude of non-ophthalmic medical doctors towards glaucoma in two tertiary institutions in south eastern Nigeria

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
E O Achigbu
Department of Ophthalmology, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Aims and Objectives: This study is aimed at determining how much knowledge of glaucoma the non-ophthalmic medical doctors still possess and their personal attitudes toward glaucoma. Patients and Methods: Self- administered questionnaires were randomly distributed to the non-ophthalmic medical doctors in two specialist hospitals in south eastern Nigeria: The data obtained were the age, sex, professional and number of years of practice of the participants, their knowledge of the symptoms/ aetiology/risk factors, examination/investigation, treatment of glaucoma as well as their personal attitude towards glaucoma. Results: There were two hundred respondents; one hundred and forty two males and fifty eight females (M:F=2.4:1); comprising 82.5% Resident doctors; 51% of whom had been in practice for less than 5 years. All the doctors had heard of glaucoma; approximately seventy two per cent (72.5%) had a good knowledge of glaucoma symptoms and 52.0% of these had been in practice for only 5 years or less. Similarly, of the 83% of the doctors who correctly answered the questions on the aetiology of glaucoma, majority (84.3%) had been in practice for 5 years or less. Only 24.5% and 38.5% respectively of the doctors had a good knowledge of the basic examination and treatment required for the management of glaucoma. There was no statistically significant relationship between most variables tested. Only the relationship between the knowledge of the symptoms of glaucoma and the duration of practice of the doctors was statistically significant (p< 0.005). Conclusion: Most of the non-ophthalmic medical doctors have a basic knowledge of glaucoma and how to investigate it but showed a poor knowledge of examination and treatment modalities. They also acknowledged the importance of regular eye checks but only very few had had their eyes examined.

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