Author(s): Castanon Holguin AM, Congdon N, Patel N, Ratcliffe A, Esteso P,
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Abstract PURPOSE: To study the prevalence and determinants of compliance with spectacle wear among school-age children in Oaxaca, Mexico, who were provided spectacles free of charge. METHODS: A cohort of 493 children aged 5 to 18 years chosen by random cluster sampling from primary and secondary schools in Oaxaca, Mexico, all of whom had received free spectacles through a local program, underwent unannounced, direct examination to determine compliance with spectacle wear within 18 months after initial provision of spectacles. Potential determinants of spectacle wear including age, gender, urban versus rural residence, presenting visual acuity, refractive error, and time since dispensing of the spectacles were examined in univariate and multivariate regression models. Children not currently wearing their spectacles were asked to select the reason from a list of possibilities, and reasons for noncompliance were analyzed within different demographic groups. RESULTS: Among this sample of children with a mean age of 10.4 +/- 2.6 years, the majority (74.5\%) of whom were myopic (spherical equivalent [SE] < or = -0.50 D), 13.4\% (66/493) were wearing their spectacles at the time of examination. An additional 34\% (169/493) had the spectacles with them but were not wearing them. In regression models, the odds of spectacle wear were significantly higher among younger (OR = 1.19 per year of age; 95\% CI, 1.05-1.33) rural (OR = 10.6; 95\% CI, 5.3-21.0) children and those with myopia < or = -1.25 D (OR = 3.97; 95\% CI, 1.98-7.94). The oldest children and children in urban-suburban areas were significantly more likely to list concerns about the appearance of the glasses or about being teased than were younger, rurally resident children. CONCLUSIONS: Compliance with spectacle wear may be very low, even when spectacles are provided free of charge, particularly among older, urban children, who have been shown in many populations to have the highest prevalence of myopia. As screening programs for refractive error become increasingly common throughout the world, new strategies are needed to improve compliance if program resources are to be maximized.
This article was published in Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci
and referenced in Optometry: Open Access