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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 146-151

Health literacy and attitudes of caregivers of intellectually disabled children towards eye care


1 Department of Ophthalmology, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Lina H Raffa
Department of Ophthalmology, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Prince Majid Road, Al Sulaymaniyah, Jeddah 22252
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/sjhs.sjhs_215_19

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Background: The development of visual impairment in young children can negatively impact visual, motor, and cognitive function, and subsequently, affect the child's psychosocial functioning. Objective: The objective of this study is to assess the eye care status among children with intellectual disabilities (IDs). Methodology: A questionnaire was designed to explore the attitudes of parents toward eye care for their intellectually disabled children aged 3–17 years and possible barriers to accessing eye care between April 2018 and April 2019. Results: A total of 198 completed questionnaires were analyzed (19.3% response rate). Sixty-four caregivers (32.3%) believed in the importance of eye examinations for children with ID. Although 72 participants (36.4%) believed their children had visual impairment, 95 (47.9%) reported that their children had never received an eye examination in their lifetime. Only 80 caregivers (40%) had sought ophthalmological care for their children within the last 24 months. Having had a previous eye examination was not significantly associated with any sociodemographic factors. Among the caregivers' major reasons for not seeking eye care was the belief that their children did not need an eye check-up (68.9%), followed by prioritizing other medical issues (11.7%), transportation barrier/financial burden (5.8%), and lack of social support (4.9%). Conclusion: The vision care status among students with ID in special needs schools in Jeddah is poor, highlighting the necessity of establishing routine vision screening check-ups coupled with multidisciplinary health assessments.


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