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Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2019 Apr;26(2):109-116. doi: 10.1080/09286586.2018.1523441. Epub 2018 Oct 9.

Spectacle Compliance and Its Determinants in a School Vision Screening Pilot in Botswana.

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a Department of Clinical Research, Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases , London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine , London , UK.
b School of Population Health and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine , King's College London , London , UK.
c Botswana UPenn Partnership , Gaborone , Botswana.



The effectiveness of school eye health programmes relies on many factors, including compliance with spectacle wear. The objectives of this study were to determine spectacle compliance in a school vision screening pilot programme in Botswana, and investigate factors predictive of compliance.


The study was an observational, cross-sectional follow-up of a pilot school screening programme. Unannounced compliance checks were completed after 3-4 months in a convenience sample of 19 schools. Sex, age, school level, visual acuity, and refractive error were analysed using logistic regression to investigate factors predictive of compliance.


Compliance data were recorded for 193/286 (67.5%) children; 62.2% were female and the median age was 15 years (interquartile range 12-17 years). 60.1% of the sample were compliant with spectacle wear. Girls were more likely to be compliant than boys (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.32, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03-5.27). Children at primary and junior secondary school were more likely to be complaint than senior secondary school children (aOR = 16.96, 95% CI 5.60-51.39; and aOR = 3.39, 95% CI 1.39-8.22, respectively). Children with binocular uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA) of 6/7.5 to 6/12 were 2.76 (95% CI1.05-7.23) times more likely to be compliant than children with binocular UCVA of 6/6.


Compliance was higher in Botswana than previous African studies; however, improvement in this area would increase the effectiveness of the programme. Further investigation into barriers to spectacle wear affecting boys and older children is warranted. A prescribing protocol to avoid low prescriptions - especially where binocular UCVA is 6/6 - is desirable.

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