Parents’ Awareness of and Perspectives on Childhood Refractive Error and Spectacle Wear in Saudi Arabia

This 2020 study in Saudi Arabia aimed to assess parents' awareness and perspectives on childhood refractive errors (REs). 358 parents participated from various regions. Findings revealed limited awareness; 38.3% had never heard of childhood REs, and 33.8% believed uncorrected REs would not lead to visual impairment. About 74% considered eyeglasses effective for managing childhood REs, but 63.7% had received no information on pediatric eye care. Factors influencing awareness included higher education, female gender, and older age. Regarding spectacle wear, 13.7% thought it affected their children's learning, while 82.7% believed it did not affect employment opportunities. Additionally, 22.1% believed eyeglasses would decrease their child's eye power. The study highlights the need for educational programs to improve parental awareness and dispel misconceptions about childhood REs and spectacle use. It emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis and treatment to reduce childhood visual impairment due to uncorrected REs. Policymakers and healthcare professionals should develop structured educational programs to address these issues and improve knowledge and attitudes among parents and teachers in Saudi Arabia.

Publication date

November 7, 2021


Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal


Saif H. Alrasheed; Waleed M. Alghamdi
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