Attitudes of Physicians, Patients, and Village Health Workers Toward Glaucoma and Diabetic Retinopathy in Rural China A Focus Group Study

Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Division of Preventive Ophthalmology, and State Key Laboratory, Sun Yat Sen University, Guangzhou, China.
Archives of ophthalmology (Impact Factor: 4.49). 06/2012; 130(6):761-70. DOI: 10.1001/archophthalmol.2012.145
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE To understand the knowledge and attitudes of rural Chinese physicians, patients, and village health workers (VHWs) toward diabetic eye disease and glaucoma. METHODS Focus groups for each of the 3 stakeholders were conducted in 3 counties (9 groups). The focus groups were recorded, transcribed, and coded using specialized software. Responses to questions about barriers to compliance and interventions to remove these barriers were also ranked and scored. RESULTS Among 22 physicians, 23 patients, and 25 VHWs, knowledge about diabetic eye disease was generally good, but physicians and patients understood glaucoma only as an acutely symptomatic disease of relatively low prevalence. Physicians did not favor routine pupillary dilation to detect asymptomatic disease, expressing concerns about workflow and danger and inconvenience to patients. Providers believed that cost was the main barrier to patient compliance, whereas patients ranked poorly trained physicians as more important. All 3 stakeholder groups ranked financial interventions to improve compliance (eg, direct payment, lotteries, and contracts) low and preferred patient education and telephone contact by nurses. All the groups somewhat doubted the ability of VHWs to screen for eye disease accurately, but patients were generally willing to pay for VHW screening. The VHWs were uncertain about the value of eye care training but might accept it if accompanied by equipment. They did not rank payment for screening services as important. CONCLUSIONS Misconceptions about glaucoma's asymptomatic nature and an unwillingness to routinely examine asymptomatic patients must be addressed in training programs. Home contact by nurses and patient education may be the most appropriate interventions to improve compliance.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To evaluate an educational intervention promoting acceptance of cataract surgery in rural China using a randomized controlled design. Patients aged 50 years or older with presenting visual acuity (PVA) less than 6/18 in one or both eyes due to cataract were recruited from 26 screening sessions (13 intervention, 13 control) conducted by five rural hospitals in Guangdong, China. At intervention sessions, subjects were shown a 5-minute informational video, and counseled about cataract, surgery, and surgical cost. During screening, all subjects answered questionnaires on knowledge and attitudes about cataract, their finances, and transportation, and were referred for definitive examination if eligible. Study outcomes were acceptance of surgery (principal outcome) and hospital follow-up. Subjects in the intervention group were younger than controls (P = 0.01), but the groups did not otherwise differ. Among 212 intervention patients and 222 controls, no differences in knowledge and attitude regarding cataract were found. Surgery was accepted by 31.1% of intervention patients and 34.2% of controls (P > 0.50). Predictors of acceptance included younger age, worse logMAR PVA, knowing that cataract can be treated surgically only, greater anticipated loss in income from hospitalization, and greater house floor space per person. Membership in the intervention group was not associated with accepting surgery (odds ratio [OR] = 1.11, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.67-1.84) or hospital follow-up (OR = 1.03, 95% CI = 0.63-1.67). Educational interventions that successfully impart the knowledge that cataract can be only treated surgically may be more effective in increasing uptake in this setting. ( number, NCT01123928.).
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 07/2012; 53(9):5271-8. DOI:10.1167/iovs.12-9798 · 3.66 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To explore factors potentially influencing the success or failure of rural Chinese hospitals in increasing cataract surgical output and quality. METHODS: Focus groups (FGs, n=10) were conducted with hospital administrators, doctors, and nurses at 28 county hospitals in Guangdong Province. Discussions explored respondents' views on increasing surgical volume and quality and improving patient satisfaction. Respondents numerically ranked possible strategies to increase surgical volume and quality and patient satisfaction. FG transcripts were independently coded by two reviewers utilizing the constant comparative method following the Grounded Theory approach, and numerical responses were scored and ranked. Results: Ten FGs and 77 ranking questionnaires were completed by 33 administrators, 23 doctors, and 21 nurses. Kappa values for the two coders were > 0.7 for all three groups. All groups identified a critical need for enhanced management training for hospital directors. Doctors and nurses suggested reducing surgical fees to enhance uptake, though administrators were resistant to this. While doctors saw the need to improve equipment, administrators felt current material conditions were adequate. Respondents agreed that patient satisfaction was generally high, and did not view increasing patient satisfaction as a priority. Conclusion: Our findings highlight agreements and disagreements between the three stakeholder groups about improving surgical output and quality, which can inform strategies to improve cataract programs in rural China. Respondents' beliefs about high patient satisfaction are not in accord with other studies in the area, highlighting a potential area for intervention.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 12/2012; 54(1). DOI:10.1167/iovs.12-10906 · 3.66 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Increasing cases of diabetes, a general lack of routinely operational prevention, and a long history of separating disease prevention and treatment call for immediate engagement of frontier clinicians. This applies especially to village doctors who work in rural China where the majority of the nation's vast population lives. This study aims to develop and test an online Smart Web Aid for Preventing Type 2 Diabetes (SWAP-DM2) capable of addressing major barriers to applying proven interventions and integrating diabetes prevention into routine medical care. Development of SWAP-DM2 used evolutionary prototyping. The design of the initial system was followed by refinement cycles featuring dynamic interaction between development of practical and effective standardized operation procedures (SOPs) for diabetes prevention and Web-based assistance for implementing the SOPs. The resulting SOPs incorporated proven diabetes prevention practices in a synergetic way. SWAP-DM2 provided support to village doctors ranging from simple educational webpages and record maintenance to relatively sophisticated risk scoring and personalized counseling. Evaluation of SWAP-DM2 used data collected at baseline and 6-month follow-up assessment: (1) audio recordings of service encounters; (2) structured exit surveys of patients' knowledge, self-efficacy, and satisfaction; (3) measurement of fasting glucose, body mass index, and blood pressure; and (4) qualitative interviews with doctors and patients. Data analysis included (1) descriptive statistics of patients who received SWAP-DM2-assisted prevention and those newly diagnosed with prediabetes and diabetes; (2) comparison of the variables assessed between baseline and follow-up assessment; and (3) narratives of qualitative data. The 17 participating village doctors identified 2219 patients with elevated diabetes risk. Of these, 84.85% (1885/2219) consented to a fasting glucose test with 1022 new prediabetes and 113 new diabetes diagnoses made within 6 months. The prediabetic patients showed substantial improvement from baseline to 6-month follow-up in vegetable intake (17.0%, 43/253 vs 88.7%, 205/231), calorie intake (1.6%, 4/253 vs 71.4%, 165/231), leisure-time exercises (6.3%, 16/253 vs 21.2%, 49/231), body weight (mean 62.12 kg, SD 9.85 vs mean 58.33 kg, SD 9.18), and body mass index (mean 24.80 kg/m(2), SD 3.21 vs mean 23.36 kg/m(2), SD 2.95). The prediabetic patients showed improvement in self-efficacy for modifying diet (mean 5.31, SD 2.81 vs mean 8.53, SD 2.25), increasing physical activities (mean 4.52, SD 3.35 vs mean 8.06, SD 2.38), engaging relatives (mean 3.93, SD 3.54 vs mean 6.93, SD 2.67), and knowledge about diabetes and risks of an imbalanced diet and inadequate physical activity. Most participating doctors and patients viewed SWAP-DM2 as useful and effective. SWAP-DM2 is helpful to village doctors, acceptable to patients, and effective in modifying immediate determinants of diabetes at least in the short term, and may provide a useful solution to the general lack of participation in diabetes prevention by frontier clinicians in rural China. International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN): 66772711; (Archived by WebCite at
    Journal of Medical Internet Research 04/2014; 16(4):e98. DOI:10.2196/jmir.3228 · 4.67 Impact Factor
Show more