Utilization of eye care services among people with physical disability in Hong Kong

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Utilization of eye care services among people with physical disability in Hong Kong

 

Author: Chan, Tin Yan Rufina
Title: Utilization of eye care services among people with physical disability in Hong Kong
Degree: D.H.Sc.
Year: 2016
Subject: People with disabilities -- Care -- China -- Hong Kong.
Eye -- Care and hygiene.
Eye -- Diseases -- Prevention.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
Pages: ix, 119 pages
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2961706
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/8942
Abstract: People with physical disability is an expanding subgroup of the disabled population in Hong Kong. They comprise approximately 320500 persons, which is 4.5% of the total population of Hong Kong. People with a disability may rely more on other abilities and senses. The physically disabled are more likely to use their vision for adapted techniques to function and may therefore be more dependent on their vision to support their daily lives. On the other hand, eye care service is also an integral part of primary health care. Those without regular and preventive eye care become particularly vulnerable to ocular diseases or other vision problems. However, little is known about the utilization of eye care services among people with physical disability in Hong Kong. This study therefore aims to: collect information on the current pattern of eye care utilization of the physically disabled in Hong Kong; use a modified Andersen's behavior model to identify the predisposing, enabling, need, and disability related factors that may affect eye care utilization among the studied population; identify any access barriers perceived by those with physical disability that may discourage them from obtaining preventive eye care in Hong Kong.
A mixed methods approach was adopted in the study. Two hundred fifty participants were first recruited by a facility-based participatory method where members of local non-government organizations serving people with physical disability were invited to respond to an assisted self-administered questionnaire. At the second part of the study, generic purposive sampling was employed. Twelve participants completed a semi-structured telephone interview, during which the research questions could be discussed more deeply and other concerns that had not been explored in the self-completion questionnaire could be addressed. Hierarchical logistic regressions found that knowledge of eye care services, number of existing eye disease and current visual correction were significantly associated with utilization of eye care services. Qualitative analysis revealed the same theme of 'need driven utilization'. On the other hand, Mann-Whitney U test showed that the main access barrier to preventive eye care among the studied population was 'don't know where or who to consult'. However, although the impact of other access barriers were rather mild, the qualitative results indicated that this may due to their attitude of acceptance of existing barriers. Another theme emerged from the interview was 'fragmentation of eye care service', which seems to be a prominent condition of the current eye care system in Hong Kong. In conclusion, these findings have important implications in regards to the eye care system and public health education program. In spite of its limitations, this study is an attempt to provide a more in-depth description of the current eye care utilization and accessibility among people with physical disability in Hong Kong.

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