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Type Journal Article - Indian Journal of Ophthalmology
Title Prevalence of visual impairment due to uncorrected refractive error: Results from Delhi-Rapid Assessment of Visual Impairment Study
Author(s)
Volume 64
Issue 5
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4966377/
Abstract
Aim: To estimate the prevalence of visual impairment (VI) due to uncorrected refractive error
(URE) and to assess the barriers to utilization of services in the adult urban population of Delhi.
Materials and Methods: A population‑based rapid assessment of VI was conducted among people aged
40 years and above in 24 randomly selected clusters of East Delhi district. Presenting visual acuity (PVA)
was assessed in each eye using Snellen’s “E” chart. Pinhole examination was done if PVA was <20/60 in
either eye and ocular examination to ascertain the cause of VI. Barriers to utilization of services for refractive
error were recorded with questionnaires. Results: Of 2421 individuals enumerated, 2331 (96%) individuals
were examined. Females were 50.7% among them. The mean age of all examined subjects was 51.32 ±
10.5 years (standard deviation). VI in either eye due to URE was present in 275 individuals (11.8%, 95%
confidence interval [CI]: 10.5–13.1). URE was identified as the most common cause (53.4%) of VI. The overall
prevalence of VI due to URE in the study population was 6.1% (95% CI: 5.1–7.0). The elder population as
well as females were more likely to have VI due to URE (odds ratio [OR] = 12.3; P < 0.001 and OR = 1.5;
P < 0.02). Lack of felt need was the most common reported barrier (31.5%). Conclusions: The prevalence of
VI due to URE among the urban adult population of Delhi is still high despite the availability of abundant
eye care facilities. The majority of reported barriers are related to human behavior and attitude toward the
refractive error. Understanding these aspects will help in planning appropriate strategies to eliminate VI
due to URE.

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