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Aims: To assess the demographic characteristics and referral pattern of patients with glaucoma presenting at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.
Study Design: A hospital-based cross- sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: The Ophthalmology department, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital between November 2018 and January 2019.
Methodology: Ninety-four (94) consenting consecutive Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) patients above 18 years attending the glaucoma clinic of the Ophthalmology department of the hospital were recruited. All patients had a comprehensive eye examination and were diagnosed as POAG patients and were receiving treatment. Patients with secondary glaucoma were excluded from the study. A questionnaire was used to retrieve information on sources of referral, and distance travelled to assess care.
Data analysis employed the Epi Info Version 7.1.4. Significant differences in the comparison of means were determined by independent t-test while the difference in proportions was determined using Chi square statistics. Statistical significance was set at p=.05
Results: A total of 94 glaucoma patients on treatment at our facility were involved in the study. Mean age was 48.49±11.46years. Age range was 25-78years with M: F ratio =1.6:1. 36.2% had secondary education. Majority of referrals (36.3%) were by fellow patients, and most patients (42.6%) travelled less than an hour to access care. 68.1% had prior awareness of glaucoma before visit to clinic. Majority of patients had advanced glaucoma (45.7%) at presentation.
Conclusion: A large proportion of POAG patients presenting in our facility had advanced glaucoma and most referrals were from patients already accessing care and media. Advocacy to improve awareness and prompt referral of affected patients will help to reduce the problems associated with glaucoma in our environment
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