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Title: Fear of blindness and perceptions about blind people. The Andhra Pradesh Eye Disease Study.
Authors: Giridhar, Pyda
Dandona, Rakhi
Prasad, Mudigonda N
Kovai, Vilas
Dandona, Lalit
Issue Date: 3-Sep-2002
Citation: Giridhar P, Dandona R, Prasad MN, Kovai V, Dandona L. Fear of blindness and perceptions about blind people. The Andhra Pradesh Eye Disease Study. Indian Journal of Ophthalmology. 2002 Sep; 50(3): 239-46
Abstract: This study assessed the fear of being affected by illness and disability including blindness, and perceptions of the population towards blind people in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. A total of 11,786 subjects of all ages were sampled from 94 clusters in one urban and three rural study areas of Andhra Pradesh using stratified, random, cluster, systematic sampling to represent the population of this state. A total of 10,293 subjects of all ages underwent a detailed interview and dilated ocular evaluation. Subjects > 15 years of age (7,432) were interviewed regarding fear of illness/disability and their perceptions of blind people. The fear of blindness was assessed in comparison to cancer, severe mental illness, heart attack, losing limbs, deafness, inability to speak, and paralysis. A majority of the study population feared all the illnesses and disabilities assessed. The prevalence of fear of blindness was 90.9% (95% confidence interval 89.1-92.8%) and 92.1% (95% confidence interval 90.6-93.6%) in urban and rural study areas respectively. With multiple logistic regression the fear of blindness was significantly higher for those with any level of education and for those living in the rural study areas. The proportion of those having positive feelings towards blind people was higher in the urban study area. A high prevalence of blindness, 1.84%, has been reported in this population previously. These data suggest that this population feared blindness, and yet there is a high rate of blindness. This reflects the need for increasing awareness about blindness in this population through eye health promotion strategies in order to reduce blindness, and awareness regarding the availability of rehabilitation services.
Appears in Collections:Indian Journal of Ophthalmology

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