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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 91-96

Parent's eyecare seeking behavior for young children in Saudi Arabia


1 Department of Ophthalmology, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Ophthalmology, King Abdulaziz University Hospital; Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
3 Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Lina Hassan Raffa
Department of Ophthalmology, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Prince Majid Road, Al Sulaymaniyah, P. O. Box: 80215, Jeddah 21589
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/sjhs.sjhs_35_22

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Background: In Saudi Arabia, school health services lack adequate vision screening. To date, limited data on access to eye care in young children in Saudi Arabia exist. Aim: This study aims to evaluate whether parents who reside in Saudi Arabia know how to access eye care for their young children, and what barriers might exist to prevent them from seeking care. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study among parents of children 14 years or younger who reside in Saudi Arabia was conducted using an online questionnaire. Results: A total of 1023 completed questionnaires were analyzed. Of all responses, the majority 57.9% (n = 592) of parents reported that vision screening did not take place in their children's schools. Over half of the parents (n = 522, 58.9%) reported that their children had never undergone an eye examination before. Most common reason to seek eye care would be for concerns over poor vision reported in 59.5% (n = 609). The most common barrier to accessing eye care was not knowing how to access an eye test in 33.9% (n = 347) followed by a quarter of parents citing other reasons (n = 258, 25.2%) such as having no concerns and no clear reason to have their child's eyes examined. Conclusion: Parents in Saudi Arabia have some concerns and challenges in seeking eye care for their young children. Planned awareness programs to educate parents and help them overcome the barriers that hinder them from seeking eye care for their children are recommended.


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