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Awareness about glaucoma and related eye health attitudes in Switzerland: a survey of the general public
OBJECTIVE: To assess the level of awareness about glaucoma and its consequences and to evaluate associated eye health attitudes in a randomly selected general urban and rural population in Switzerland. METHODS: A cluster random sample of the Swiss population was interviewed. Five-hundred and two telephone interviews with subjects who were representative of the 35- to 70-year-old population of the German- and French-speaking parts of Switzerland were conducted. Data were collected about their gender, age, educational status and professional situation. Study Type: Cross-sectional survey. RESULTS: In total, 76% (n = 383) of respondents did not have any (or any correct) association with the term 'glaucoma'. Only 24.7% (n = 123) of the interviewees could describe glaucoma as an eye condition. Awareness of glaucoma was independent of age, gender, educational status, and household income. Associated therapeutic measures were surgery (75%) and medical treatment (57%). Seventy-one percent of all respondents wear eyeglasses, 74% of all females and 67% of males. CONCLUSION: Awareness and knowledge about glaucoma are relatively low in the average Swiss population across all segments of society. The lack of awareness on this insidious disease has important implications for the uptake of ophthalmic care and may result in avoidable blindness. These data also show that the ophthalmologist is considered by the majority of people to be the primary contact for eye health-related information and sight corrections.
Adult Aged *Attitude to Health *Awareness Cross-Sectional Studies Female Glaucoma, Open-Angle/epidemiology/*psychology Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice Health Surveys Humans Male Middle Aged Patient Education *Population Surveillance Questionnaires Risk Factors Switzerland/epidemiology
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