The awareness, perceptions and experiences of primary open angle glaucoma patients in Lagos Nigeria
The awareness, perceptions and experiences of Nigerian Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) patients were assessed using a hospital based cross-sectional study design. One hundred and twenty POAG patients attending a glaucoma clinic in Lagos Nigeria were recruited consecutively. They underwent face-to-face interviews with trained interviewers using a semi-structured questionnaire and an interview guide consisting of open-ended questions. A comprehensive ocular examination which included static automated perimetry, gonioscopy, stereoscopic optic nerve head assessment and contrast sensitivity was carried out for all participants. Twenty per cent (n = 24) of the respondents did not know they were being managed for a disease called Glaucoma. Age, gender, religion, ethnicity, marital status and occupation did not significantly affect the awareness of glaucoma diagnosis (p > 0.05). Positive family history of glaucoma, educational status and duration of disease were the most significant factors associated with awareness of glaucoma diagnosis (p < 0.05). POAG patients in Nigeria lack the depth of perception that can equip them to educate and motivate their family members to screen for glaucoma. There is an urgent need to develop continuous eye health education programmes to improve their perception and outlook; thereby increasing the uptake of glaucoma screening by first degree relatives of glaucoma patients.