Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
CASTAGNO, Victor Delpizzo; FASSA, Anaclaudia Gastal; SILVA, Marcelo Cozzensa da and CARRET, Maria Laura Vidal. Shortage of ocular health care in the public system: a population-based study. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.10, pp. 2260-2272. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2009001000016.
This cross-sectional population-based study investigated the prevalence of eye care services utilization and the association with socioeconomic and demographic factors, need for health care, and type of service payment. The study evaluated 2,960 adults aged 20 and older. In the previous 5 years, 46% of the sample and 30% of those aged 50 and older had not visited an eye care service. Among the persons who used a service, 18% went to an optical store and only 17% used the public health system. The main reason for using eye care services was poor vision (69.5%). Lack of money (29%) and time (24.6%) were the most frequently cited reasons for non-utilization. Age, education, and economic status were directly associated with the outcome. Female gender, cataract, glaucoma, prescription eyewear, and private appointments were also associated with the outcome. It is necessary to increase the public health system's role, integrating ocular health with all levels of health care, expanding participation by other health professionals, and intensifying screening and prevention of eye problems.
Keywords : Ophtalmological Services; Eye Health; Public Sector.