Knowledge about primary open angle glaucoma among medical students

Saulo Costa Martins Marcos Henrique Mendes Ricardo Augusto Paletta Guedes Vanessa Maria Paletta Guedes Alfredo Chaoubah About the authors

Objective:

To assess the knowledge of primary open-angle glaucoma among medical students from Federal University of Juiz de Fora.

Methods:

In this cross sectional study, we conducted a survey among students attending the last two years of Medical School. The questionnaire consisted in 11 questions about epidemiology, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and primary openangle glaucoma (POAG) consequences. The students were also asked if they considered their knowledge about POAG sufficient. Students’ characteristics (age, sex and intended area of specialization) were identified.

Results:

Women comprised 52.9% of the students. Only 22.5% identified POAG as having a genetic origin. Almost half of them (46.1%) did not know that POAG is asymptomatic and 1 out of 3 students did not know that glaucoma blindness is irreversible. The great majority (91.2%) correctly identified tonometry as an important tool for diagnosis and that glaucoma can be treated through medications (70.6%) or surgery (71.6%). However, few students identified fundoscopy (35.3%) and perimetry (28.7%) as important tools for glaucoma assessment. Almost everyone (95.1%) considered their knowledge insufficient.

Conclusion:

The majority of the participants believe that their knowledge of POAG is insufficient. This gap can lead to some serious consequences from both individual (blindness) and collective (negative impact in health system and society) perspectives.

Glaucoma, open-angle/diagnosis; Glaucoma, open-angle/prevention & control; Ophthalmology/education; Medical, students; Education, medical


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