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RESEARCH STUDY

RESEARCH

Effect of school eye health promotion on children’s eye health literacy in Vietnam

AUTHOR:

V Prakash Paudel, Phung Thi Yen, Vilas Kovai, Thomas Naduvilath, Suit May Ho, Nguyen Viet Giap, Brien A Holden

SPONSOR/INSTITUTION:

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government as a part of the Vietnam Australia Vision Support Programme

YEAR PUBLISHED:

2017

PUBLICATION:

Health Promotion International

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Health promotion intervention in schools is a useful strategy to improve students’ health awareness. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of eye health promotion interventions on eye health literacy in school children in Vietnam.

  • A piloted questionnaire was administered to 300 children from five secondary schools in Ba Ria–Vung Tau, Vietnam at baseline and re-administered after the eye health promotion interventions. McNemar chi-square and logistic regression were used for statistical analysis.

  • A total of 300 children aged 12–15 years (mean, 13.3 ± 1.3 years; 60% female) participated in the baseline survey. The participation rate in the post-health promotion survey was 94.7%.

  • After the health promotion interventions, number of children who had correct eye health knowledge increased by 10–20% (60–75% to 70–95%), more children reported having had an eye examination (63.3% to 84.7%; p < 0.001) and more reported wearing spectacles (36.1% to 43.4%; p = 0.04).

  • Children in urban schools were twice as likely to have improved knowledge of vision loss compared with children in rural schools (odds ratio, 2.1–4.1; p = 0.01 to p < 0.001).

  • Children from rural schools had significantly higher odds of visiting doctor after the eye problems worsened (odds ratio, 4.5; p < 0.001).

  • These results imply that eye health promotion interventions significantly improve eye health knowledge, attitudes and practices of school children.

  • Additionally, participation of parents and teachers as change agents may further improve children’s health literacy.