Summary of Research Results: Mary Otoo

Unite For Sight Global Impact Fellow volunteers frequently pursue public health research studies in Unite For Sight's Global Impact Lab program. The research topics are developed by Unite For Sight and the partner eye clinics, the research studies are approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB), and the research findings are submitted to the eye clinic partners for program development.

Mary Otoo, “Maternal Perceptions on Child Eye Health”

The primary aim of this study was to better understand maternal perceptions on the eye health of children. Mothers with children under the age of 15 were interviewed while attending a Crystal Eye Clinic outreach program; 216 mothers met the inclusion criteria for participation. 71% of these mothers had previously had eye exams, but only 36% had taken any of their children in for an eye exam. 57% of mothers said their children did not have any eye problems; over half of mothers did not consider bringing their children for eye exams because there were no complaints or problems. Only 9% of mothers had a child who wore eyeglasses. When asked if they believed an eye exam would be beneficial for their children, 93% said yes. Mothers also were able to identify symptoms of eye problems as headaches (98%), itching eyes (96%), trouble in school (96%), and squinting (92%); however 85% also believed that ear pain was a sign of eye problems. Over half (52%) of mothers noticed that their children had frequent headaches, 46% noticed they rubbed their eyes often, and 21% noticed their child squinting frequently. 90% said that if their child was hit in the eye with a stone they would take them to the hospital. Overall mothers seemed to be aware of signs of eye problems and willing to take their children to the clinic if a problem arose; however, more education is needed on the importance of regular eye exams for children, even if no problems seem to be present.