Revista de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
ARMOND, Jane de Eston and TEMPORINI, Edméa Rita. Ocular health beliefs among teachers in the public educational system, Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2000, vol.34, n.1, pp. 9-14. ISSN 1518-8787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102000000100003.
OBJECTIVE: With the purpose of collecting information for training programs targeted to teachers, ocular health beliefs were assessed concerning eyeglasses wear, visual problems and damages while reading in different settings. METHODS: A survey was carried out among first-grade teachers of public elementary schools located in the Southern region of S. Paulo city, state of S. Paulo, Brazil. The study population included 545 subjects from 120 different schools. A self-administered structured questionnaire was developed based on a previous exploratory study. RESULTS: Average age in this population was 37.8 years and they have been working as educators for an average of 13.2 years; most of them (67.4%) have not received orientation on ocular health for the last three years; almost all of them (99.4%) believed that eyeglasses should be wore constantly; 62.3% considered the fact of a constant vision straining as an aggravating factor for eye disorders; 95% of the teachers admitted that there could be damaging consequences when someone watches television at a distance of less than 2 meters; 59.9% of them believed that watching TV with the lights off could damage one's vision; 45.6% considered reading in a moving vehicle a cause for visual problems. CONCLUSIONS: Popular beliefs related to eye health reveal a need for orientation programs for teachers in order to implement preventive actions related to eye health within elementary schools.
Keywords : Eye health; School health; Health education; Public health ophthalmology.