Aim: To assess the level of awareness and knowledge of cataract among workers at the Irrua
Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State, Nigeria.
Methods: Enrolled into the study were five hundred (500) participants, however only 370 consented. Data on demographics, awareness and knowledge of cataract was gathered through structured researcher-administered questionnaires using a systematic random sampling technique to participants, which included Accounts, Personnel, Laundry, Security, Pharmacy, Radiology, and Laboratory services. Staffs from the department of Ophthalmology were excluded from the study as a way of eliminating bias. Statistical Package for Social Sciences 21 (SPSS Inc. 2007. SPSS for Windows, Version 21.0. Chicago) Software was used to analyze data. Yates-corrected Chi-square test (χ2)/Chi-square (χ2) with trend or Fisher Exact Test as appropriate were used to determine association between discrete variables. Regression analysis to identify significant factors (e.g. demographics) affecting awareness and knowledge among the participants was also done. The level of knowledge among the staff categories was also compared using the Chi-square test. Statistical significance was taken as P< 0.05.
Results: A total of 500 participants from various departments were recruited for the study but only 370 consented and took part in the study, giving a 74% response rate. This represented 18.4% of the total population. There were 149 males and 221 females that participated in the study, with a male to female ratio of 1:1.5. The mean age of the participants was 39.9 (±7.9) years. All participants had some formal education with a little over two-third of the participants 282(76.2%) having tertiary level of education. A total of 327(88.4%) of the participants were aware of cataract. Awareness of cataract was higher among the paramedical staff and among the respondents with higher education. Lectures during training (24.4%) and hospital seminars (23.5%) were the most common source of information among participants who had heard about cataract. Other sources of information were mass media, relatives with cataract and during an eye clinic visit.
Out of 327 participants who were aware of cataract, 61(18.7%) had good knowledge of cataract, 100 (30.6%) participants had fair knowledge and a little over half (50.8%) had poor knowledge.
The significant predictors found for knowledge of cataract was occupation, which was independently associated with the participants’ knowledge of cataract after adjustment. The results showed that a medical staff is more likely to have better knowledge of cataract than a domestic/security staff (p = 0.005), <0.05.
Conclusion: Awareness of cataract was higher among the paramedical staff and among the respondents with higher education. The significant predictors found for knowledge of cataract was occupation, which was independently associated with the participants’ knowledge of cataract after adjustment.