Minority Primary Care Physicians' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices on Eye Health and Preferred Sources of Information
Racial and ethnic disparities exist in the prevalence of certain eye diseases. Minority primary care physicians are in a unique position to help prevent vision loss and blindness, especially among minority populations. To measure physicians' knowledge and attitudes regarding eye health and to better understand the facts regarding patient information and counseling concerning eye health and disease, the National Eye Institute included key eye health knowledge, attitude, and practice questions in the 2007 DocStyles Survey, a Web-based survey of primary care physicians about physician perceptions and attitudes concerning communication with patients. A total of 428 minority primary care physicians responded to the survey. Results indicate that minority primary care physicians have favorable attitudes regarding eye health and the role they should play in talking with patients about eye health. Approximately 60% indicated that they could identify patients at higher risk for eye disease; however, only 52% of physicians indicated that they have adequate knowledge to advise their patients on vision health. Regarding information sources, most minority physicians prefer to obtain information about vision and eye health from professional journals, medical Web sites, and continuing medical education. Findings from this research reveal both a need and an opportunity with regard to increasing physician confidence in identifying patients at higher risk for eye disease and advising their patients on eye health.