Knowledge, attitude and practice of eye diseases in children among pediatricians in Kenya.
Background: Childhood blindness is the second largest cause of blind person years after cataracts accounting for70million blind person years globally. Amblyopia cannot be corrected in adult life, so there is a level of urgency about treating childhood eye disease. Pediatricians thus should play an important role in preventing blindness by early diagnosis, treatment of simple ocular ailments while identifying conditions requiring referral to the ophthalmologist. Previous studies have focused primarily on preschool children and have revealed deficiencies in vision-screening and referral practices among pediatricians. Objective: To assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of eye disease in children among pediatricians working in Kenya. Study type: Descriptive cross-sectional study with participants drawn from pediatricians practicing in Kenya. Methodology: The study was carried out among pediatricians working in the various hospitals and clinics in Kenya. They were requested to participate by first filling a consent form and subsequently answering a semi-structured questionnaire. Dependent variables were knowledge attitude and practice. Independent variables were age, sex, duration of practice, and type of practice. The data collected was analyzed statistically using STATA and the level of knowledge was grouped according to Bloom’s original cut-off points into good (>80%), moderate (60-80%) and poor (< 60%). Results: out of the 125 respondents, 69.60% percent had a level of knowledge classifiable as poor. The mean score of participants in this study was 58.20%. However participants showed varied levels of knowledge in different subject matters. In terms of practice, most pediatricians (69.60%) carry out eye examination in children, though in varied ways with each participant seemingly doing only the test they are conversant with. Their referral of children with eye diseases was found to be generally appropriate. The attitudes of participants were positive. 99.20% of participants agreed that eye examination by pediatricians could help with early detection of retinoblastoma. Conclusion: The participants had poor level of knowledge on childhood eye diseases. However their practice was generally good as were their attitudes which were positive.