Society of African Journal Editors

Ghana Medical Journal

Awareness and knowledge of glaucoma among adult patients at the eye clinic of a teaching hospital

Authors: G Nkum, S Lartey, C Frimpong, F Micah, B Nkum

Journal: Ghana Medical Journal

Background : Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) is an irreversible blinding disease that often presents late because it is symptomless in the early stages. Prognosis depends on early diagnosis and treatment and patient understanding of their condition. Many patients present late because of poor awareness and knowledge. This study was conducted to assess patient’s awareness and knowledge of glaucoma in a referral Teaching Hospital. Methods : Descriptive cross-sectional study conducted among glaucoma patients aged 40 years and above attending the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH). Patients were selected by simple random sampling. They were recruited after informed consent had been given. A questionnaire on demographics, socio-economics and awareness of glaucoma was administered. Results : There were a total of 117 participants, 61 males and 56 females. The median and modal age group was 50 and 59 years. Amongst the participants, 74% were aware of glaucoma. There were no significant statistical difference in the various age groups, sex, ethnic group or religion and their awareness of glaucoma (P>0.05).There were statistically significant differences between those who had higher education and their awareness of glaucoma (P< 0.001). Yet only 27% of these had accurate knowledge of glaucoma. Conclusion : Glaucoma awareness in patients attending Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital is high. Higher education was associated with higher awareness yet this was not translated into accurate knowledge as there were significant misconceptions .There is the need to review the contents of health education with the aim of reducing dangerous misconception of glaucoma and targeting the lower socioeconomic population. Key words : Glaucoma, Primary Open Angle Glaucoma, Knowledge, Awareness, Blindness