Document Detail

Blindness and vision impairment in the elderly of Papua New Guinea.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16764653     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: To estimate the magnitude and causes of blindness and vision impairment in Papua New Guinea for service delivery planning and ophthalmic education development. METHODS: Using the World Health Organization standardized Rapid Assessment of Cataract Surgical Services protocol, a population-based cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2005. By systematic, two-stage cluster random sampling, 39 clusters each of 30 people aged 50 years and over were selected from urban and rural locations. A cause of vision loss was determined for each eye with a presenting visual acuity worse than 6/18. RESULTS: Of the 1191 people enumerated, 1174 were examined (98.6%). The 50 years and older age-gender adjusted prevalence of vision impairment (presenting visual acuity less than 6/18 in the better eye) was 29.2% (95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 27.6, 35.1, Design Effect [deff] = 2.3). That of functional blindness (presenting visual acuity less than 6/60 in the better eye) was 8.9% (95% CI: 8.4, 12.0, deff = 1.2), and of World Health Organization blindness (but presenting, rather than best corrected, visual acuity of less than 3/60 in the better eye) was 3.9% (95% CI: 3.4, 6.1, deff = 1.0). Uncorrected refractive error (13.1%, 95% CI: 11.3, 15.1, deff = 1.2) and cataract (7.4%, 95% CI: 6.4, 10.2, deff = 1.3) were leading causes of vision impairment, age-gender adjusted. Cataract was the most common (age-gender adjusted 6.4%, 95% CI: 5.1, 7.3, deff = 1.1) cause of functional blindness. On bivariate analysis, increasing age (P < 0.001), illiteracy (P < 0.001) and unemployment (P < 0.001) were associated with functional blindness. Gender was not. CONCLUSIONS: The identification and treatment of refractive error and cataract need to be priorities for eye health services in Papua New Guinea if the burden of vision impairment and blindness is to be diminished. The education of community and hospital eye care providers, whether medical, nursing or other cadres, must emphasize these. Eye care services must be structured and provided to allow and encourage accessibility and uptake, with satisfactory treatment outcomes for these conditions.
Jambi N Garap; Sethu Sheeladevi; B R Shamanna; Praveen K Nirmalan; Garry Brian; Carmel Williams
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Clinical & experimental ophthalmology     Volume:  34     ISSN:  1442-6404     ISO Abbreviation:  Clin. Experiment. Ophthalmol.     Publication Date:    2006 May-Jun
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-06-12     Completed Date:  2006-08-08     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100896531     Medline TA:  Clin Experiment Ophthalmol     Country:  Australia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  335-41     Citation Subset:  IM    
The Fred Hollows Foundation - Papua New Guinea Eye Care Program, University of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Blindness / epidemiology*
Cataract / epidemiology
Cross-Sectional Studies
Middle Aged
Papua New Guinea / epidemiology
Refractive Errors / epidemiology
Vision Disorders / epidemiology*
Visually Impaired Persons / statistics & numerical data*

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