PURPOSE. To evaluate an educational intervention promoting acceptance of cataract surgery in rural China using a randomized controlled design. METHODS. Patients aged 50 years or older with presenting visual acuity (PVA) less than 6/18 in one or both eyes due to cataract were recruited from 26 screening sessions (13 intervention, 13 control) conducted by five rural hospitals in Guangdong, China. At intervention sessions, subjects were shown a 5- minute informational video, and counseled about cataract, surgery, and surgical cost. During screening, all subjects answered questionnaires on knowledge and attitudes about cataract, their finances, and transportation, and were referred for definitive examination if eligible. Study outcomes were acceptance of surgery (principal outcome) and hospital followup. RESULTS. Subjects in the intervention group were younger than controls (P = 0.01), but the groups did not otherwise differ. Among 212 intervention patients and 222 controls, no differences in knowledge and attitude regarding cataract were found. Surgery was accepted by 31.1% of intervention patients and 34.2% of controls (P > 0.50). Predictors of acceptance included younger age, worse logMAR PVA, knowing that cataract can be treated surgically only, greater anticipated loss in income from hospitalization, and greater house floor space per person. Membership in the intervention group was not associated with accepting surgery (odds ratio [OR]=1.11, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.67-1.84) or hospital follow-up (OR= 1.03, 95% CI = 0.63-1.67). CONCLUSIONS. Educational interventions that successfully impart the knowledge that cataract can be only treated surgically may be more effective in increasing uptake in this setting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience