Reversal in gender valuations of cataract surgery after the implementation of free screening and low-priced high-quality surgery in a rural population of Southern China

Elaine Baruwa, Jonathan Tzu, Nathan Congdon, Mingguang He, Kevin D. Frick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To assess the impact of community outreach and the availability of low-cost surgeries [500 Renminbi (RMB) or 65 United States dollars (US$) per surgery] on the willingness to pay for cataract surgery among male and female rural-dwelling Chinese. Methods: Cross-sectional willingness-to-pay surveys were conducted at the initiation of a cataract outreach programme in June 2001 and then again in July 2006. Respondents underwent visual acuity testing and provided socio-demographic data. Results: In 2001 and 2006, 325 and 303 subjects, respectively, were interviewed. On average the 2006 sample subjects were of similar age, more likely to be female (p < 0.01), illiterate (p < 0.01), and less likely to come from a household with annual income of less than US$789 (62% vs. 87%, p < 0.01). Familiarity with cataract surgery increased from 21.2% to 44.4% over the 5 years for male subjects (p < 0.01) and 15.8%-44.4% among females (p < 0.01). The proportion of respondents willing to pay at least 500 RMB for surgery increased from 67% to 88% (p < 0.01) among male subjects and from 50% to 91% (p < 0.01) among females. Conclusions: Five years of access to free cataract testing and low-cost surgery programmes appears to have improved the familiarity with cataract surgery and increased the willingness to pay at least 500 RMB (US$65) for it in this rural population. Elderly women are now as likely as men to be willing to pay at least 500 RMB, reversing gender differences present 5 years ago.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-104
Number of pages6
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008

Keywords

  • Access
  • Cataract
  • Equity
  • Gender
  • Rural China
  • Willingness to Pay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Ophthalmology

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