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Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2012 Apr;19(2):43-51. doi: 10.3109/09286586.2011.628135.

Eye care in Fiji: a population-based study of use and barriers.

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The Fred Hollows Foundation New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand.



To determine the use of medical services for eye problems in Fiji, and barriers to seeking that care.


An interview-based questionnaire was administered as part of a population-based cross-sectional survey of adults selected by multistage random sampling from those aged ≥40 years living on Fiji's main island.


Participation rate was 73.0% (n = 1381). A current vision or eye problem was reported by 931 participants, and a further 235 recalled a previous difficulty. Urban dwellers (P = 0.002) and those aged ≥50 years (P = 0.017) were more likely to report a problem. Gender was not predictive (P = 0.215). "Blurred/poor vision" was the most common complaint (78.5%). Over half (53.3%) had not sought care for the problem most important to them. For current problems, being younger (P < 0.001) and from a household without paid income (P = 0.007) were predictive of being less likely to seek treatment. Gender was not (P = 0.416). The most frequently cited principal reason for not seeking care was "able to manage/accept the problem" (66.5%; of whom 84.7% claimed vision problems). Direct and indirect costs were mentioned as deterrents. "Thought nothing could be done" (P = 0.032) and "lack of awareness of service availability" (P = 0.026) were more common among rural dwellers. Of participants who sought care, 75.6% used government services. Most participants requiring spectacles or medication incurred costs for these. Satisfaction with overall care was independent of provider (P = 0.062) and user gender (P = 0.851).


With expanding service delivery, increased eye health promotion, and attention to the financing of treatments, improved service use ought to be possible in Fiji.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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