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Glaucoma awareness

Baker, H.; (2009) Glaucoma awareness. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis investigates three different aspects of glaucoma awareness using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Patient Awareness: This qualitative study looked at patients perceptions of glaucoma. Participants (N=28) reported low levels of awareness of glaucoma prior to their diagnosis and assumed that symptoms were the ‘normal’ deterioration of eyesight. As symptoms have a gradual onset, participants had learnt to cope with diminishing sight ability. Findings suggested health promotion a priority to increase public awareness of the existence and symptoms of glaucoma among those at high risk. Current public awareness: This study looked to document public awareness and knowledge of glaucoma. The study used health knowledge questionnaires in three different populations: 1. nationally representative sample of 1009 people 2. telephone Interviews – 500 Isle of Wight, 226 Ealing 3. face-to-face interviews – 300 Ealing Between 71-93% of those interviewed by telephone had heard of glaucoma. However, only 23% of those interviewed face-to-face in Ealing reported having heard of glaucoma. We found a relatively high level of awareness and knowledge of glaucoma in the general UK population but identified at least one pocket of poor knowledge in a specific subpopulation. Can we change awareness? This study investigated whether a public health campaign could increase awareness and change help-seeking behaviour with respect to ocular health with residents in Southall, Ealing aged 60+. The health knowledge questionnaire from the previous study was used to assess the campaign. The health campaign comprised of four components. 1. Television 2. Local Press 3. Local Radio 4. Places of worship The results showed a significant increase in the number of people who had heard of Glaucoma rising from 22% to 53%. Before the intervention most people had heard about glaucoma from their GP, friend or relative. After intervention the majority (69%) had heard of glaucoma from the radio. This study showed a significant increase in awareness from using different kinds of media and showed radio to be the most effective in the target community. Although the campaign raised awareness it did not show a change in help seeking behaviour.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Glaucoma awareness
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology

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