RESEARCH ARTICLE


Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Optometrists Regarding Low Vision Services in Saudi Arabia



Godwin O. Ovenseri-Ogbomo1, *
iD
, Waleed Alghamdi1
iD

1 Department of Optometry, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia


© 2021 Ovenseri-Ogbomo and Alghamdi.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Department of Optometry, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia;
Tel: +966592230573;
E-mails: godwin.ovenseri-ogbomo@uniben.edu; g.ovenseri@qu.edu.sa


Abstract

Purpose:

To address the human resources challenge for the provision of low vision services in Saudi Arabia, this study sought to investigate the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of optometrists in Saudi Arabia regarding low vision services. The knowledge and attitudes to low vision services can influence the provision of low vision services by optometrists.

Methods:

A prospective cross-sectional survey of optometrists practicing in Saudi Arabia was undertaken using an online questionnaire designed to elicit the opinions of respondents. The online questionnaire was sent out to optometrists on the official mailing list of registered optometrists and those on the mailing list of the Saudi Society of Optometry.

Results:

Only 26.5% of the respondents correctly indicated the correct designation of low vision in terms of visual acuity. Although 95.8% indicated that optical low vision devices could help people with low vision, 81.6% reported that low vision devices were expensive, and 42.9% felt low vision practice was not profitable. Only 10.4% of respondents provide low vision services in their practice. Insufficient training in low vision care was the main barrier militating against the provision of low vision services.

Conclusion:

The pertinent finding in this study is that about a quarter of the respondents could correctly designate low vision in terms of visual acuity using the World Health Organization (WHO) definition. The study concluded that there was poor knowledge, attitudes, and practices of optometrists in Saudi Arabia regarding low vision, which has implications for the provision of low vision services by optometrists.

Keywords: Low vision practice, Optometrists, Saudi Arabia, Perception, Barriers, Vision impairment.