Keratoconus management at public sector facilities in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: Practitioner perspectives

African Vision and Eye Health

Field Value
Title Keratoconus management at public sector facilities in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: Practitioner perspectives
Creator Gcabashe, Nonkululeko Moodley, Vanessa R. Hansraj, Rekha
Subject Optometry, ophthalmology, ophthalmic nurse keratoconus; keratoconus services; practitioner perspectives; vernal keratoconjunctivitis; public sector, health facilities
Description Background: Keratoconus (KC) is a non-inflammatory, self-limiting corneal ectasia that causes reduced visual acuity and if left undiagnosed and/or untreated may lead to visual impairment. Optometrists remain the first point of contact for affected patients, making appropriate timeous care essential.Aim: To investigate keratoconus management in the public sector in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.Setting: Public sector eye care facilities in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.Methods: In a quantitative, cross-sectional study, a questionnaire was distributed to optometrists employed by the Department of Health in KwaZulu-Natal (DoH-KZN). Data on practitioner demographic profile and clinical competence, facility attendance statistics, resources available and KC clinical protocols were collected.Results: The response rate was 36 (71%). The optometrists’ mean age was 30.19 ± 4.53 years, and 80% of them had work experience of less than 10 years. The majority of the health facilities (63.9%) reported a monthly attendance of 51–300 patients, and, of these, 72% of the respondents reported seeing only between 1 and 10 keratoconic patients. A lack of equipment and/or fitting of contact lenses being disallowed by the DoH-KZN were cited by the majority (61%) as the reason for routinely referring KC patients to optometrists in private practice.Conclusion: This study highlights a deficiency in the minimum standard of optometric care for KC in the public sector in KZN, primarily because of a lack of equipment and resources. It is recommended that the management of KC at all levels of the public health system be reviewed to improve the quality of service for keratoconic patients.
Publisher AOSIS
Date 2022-03-30
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — quantitative, cross sectional, descriptive design
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/aveh.v81i1.698
Source African Vision and Eye Health; Vol 81, No 1 (2022); 7 pages 2410-1516 2413-3183
Language eng
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Coverage Africa; South Africa; KwaZulu-Natal; Durban; 2019-2021 —
Rights Copyright (c) 2022 Nonkululeko Gcabashe