240492 Pilsen Eye Study: Understanding the perceived barriers and benefits of the treatment of presbyopia in an inner city Hispanic community

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 11:24 AM

Thomas Wubben, BS , Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Christopher Guerrero, MD , Department of Family Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chciago, IL
Gregory Wolfe, OD, MPH , Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, Southern California College of Optometry, Marana, AZ
David Ramsey, MD, PhD, MPH , Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Presbyopia is the loss of accommodative amplitude with age, commonly experienced as a gradual impairment of near vision. Although presbyopia is easy to treat, many persons lack the means to obtain necessary eye care. The present project was undertaken to evaluate the burden of uncorrected presbyopia in an inner city, Latino population in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. Individuals who attended an employment fair sponsored by the Illinois Department of Employment Services and who were age ≥40 were invited to undergo testing of their near vision and to be fitted with reading glasses. Data were collected from a subset of patients who volunteered to participate in a survey that assessed the participants' perceived barriers and benefits of near vision correction. The average uncorrected near-vision acuity was 20/50. Upon application of reading glasses, ≥80.0% achieved a near-vision acuity of ≥20/25. An improved ability to read was cited as the most important benefit of the reading glasses with minimal impact perceived on other daily tasks. Over 70% of this population was unemployed. Employment status had no impact on the severity of presbyopia or the ability of readers to improve near vision but did correlate with the frequency with which patients were able to access an eye care professional. Whereas almost 80% of participants who were employed had seen an eye doctor, less than two thirds of participants who were unemployed had similarly accessed care (p<0.05). This is the first study to examine how presbyopia impacts a resource-poor population in the United States.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify barriers to accessing treatment for presbyopia in an inner city Latino community. Describe the benefits of having access to treatment for presbyopia.

Keywords: Vision Care, Access to Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee presbyopia treatment programs both within the continental United States and internationally, in the Philippines.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.