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Young children’s eye care: a parent survey to explore access and barriers in London UK

Donaldson, L., Subramanian, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-8104-5312 and Conway, M. L. ORCID: 0000-0001-5016-0529 (2018). Young children’s eye care: a parent survey to explore access and barriers in London UK. Clinical and Experimental Optometry, doi: 10.1111/cxo.12683

Abstract

Aim:
A questionnaire was designed to investigate the attitudes of parents living in London, England towards eye care for their young children (4-6 year olds only) and whether there are any barriers to accessing eye care for this age group. We attempted to explore whether these beliefs and barriers are influenced by certain demographic factors such as ethnicity, level of parental income, level of parental education, confidence with speaking English and a reported family history of eye problems.

Method:
1317 questionnaires (hard copies) were distributed to parents of children in primary school reception and year one (ages 4-6) from 14 schools across 5 London boroughs. 90 online surveys were sent to parents at 2 further London schools. All questionnaires were anonymous.

Results:
A total of 384 completed questionnaires were analysed (27% response rate). 338 parents (24%) completed the ‘parental knowledge’ section of the questionnaire.
65% (n=249) of responses were from parents whose children attended a school where a programme of school entry vision screening took place. Of these, 15% (n=36) of parents reported that they were aware of it.
Barriers to accessing eye care for their children were reported by 38% (n=153) of parents/carers who responded. 12% (n= 47) reported not knowing how to access an eye test for their child and 12% (n=47) reported that they were concerned their child would be given glasses that weren’t needed. When compared to parents from white ethnic groups, parents from African ethnic groups were more likely to report not knowing how to access an age appropriate eye test for their child (p=0.001). Parents of African ethnic origins were statistically more likely to report barriers to eye care (p=0.001).

Discussion:
The study provides evidence of some parental misconceptions around eye care for young children and some barriers to access.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Donaldson, L., Subramanian, A. & Conway, M. L. (2018). Young children’s eye care: a parent survey to explore access and barriers in London UK. Clinical and Experimental Optometry, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/cxo.12683. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Optometry & Visual Science
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/19543
[img] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible until 10 April 2019 due to copyright restrictions.

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