Uncorrected and corrected refractive error experiences of Nepalese adults: a qualitative study

Himal Kandel, Jyoti Khadka, Mohan Shrestha, Sandhya Kandel, Purushottam Dhungana, Kishore Pradhan, Bhagvat Nepal, Suman Thapa, Konrad Pesudovs

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    Abstract

    Purpose: The aim of this study was to explore the impact of corrected and uncorrected refractive error (URE) on Nepalese people’s quality of life (QoL), and to compare the QoL status between refractive error subgroups. Methods: Participants were recruited from Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology and Dhulikhel Hospital, Nepal. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 101 people with refractive error. Thematic analysis was used with matrices produced to compare the occurrence of themes and categories across participants. Themes were identified using an inductive approach. Results: Seven major themes emerged that determined refractive error-specific QoL: activity limitation, inconvenience, health concerns, psycho-social impact, economic impact, general and ocular comfort symptoms, and visual symptoms. Activity limitation, economic impact, and symptoms were the most important themes for the participants with URE, whereas inconvenience associated with wearing glasses was the most important issue in glasses wearers. Similarly, possibilities of having side effects or complications were the major concerns for participants wearing contact lens. In general, refractive surgery addressed socio-emotional impact of wearing glasses or contact lens. However, the surgery participants had concerns such as possibility of having to wear glasses again due to relapse of refractive error. Conclusion: Impact of refractive error on people’s QoL is multifaceted. Significance of the identified themes varies by refractive error subgroups. Refractive correction may not always address QoL impact of URE but often add unique QoL issues. This study findings also provide content for developing an item-bank for quantitatively measuring refractive error-specific QoL in developing country setting.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)147-161
    Number of pages15
    JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
    Volume25
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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    Kandel, H., Khadka, J., Shrestha, M., Kandel, S., Dhungana, P., Pradhan, K., Nepal, B., Thapa, S., & Pesudovs, K. (2017). Uncorrected and corrected refractive error experiences of Nepalese adults: a qualitative study. Ophthalmic Epidemiology, 25(2), 147-161. https://doi.org/10.1080/09286586.2017.1376338