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Niger J Clin Pract. 2019 Jul;22(7):988-996. doi: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_373_18.

EHR health seeking behavior of patients attending eye clinic in Southern Nigeria.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Calabar; Department of Ophthalmology, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria.
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria.
Department of Psychiatry, University of Calabar, Calabar; Department of Psychiatry, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria.



Health-seeking behavior is important as it reveals the preventive, curative, and rehabilitative actions taken by individuals to rectify perceived ill-health.

Aim and Objectives:

To identify existing eye health-seeking behavior, factors influencing such behavior, and suggest ways in which the system can respond to the needs of the target population in order to reduce visual impairment and blindness.


This was a descriptive cross-sectional study; 600 respondents were interviewed using a semistructured pretested questionnaire administered to every fifth new patient attending the eye clinic of University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) for a period of 5 months by a single interviewer. People unable to respond appropriately were interviewed alongside their caregivers.


Poor distant vision was the most frequent ocular complaint in this study. The mean duration of complaint before presentation to any health facility was 370.65 ± 889.48 days with a range of 0-9,125 days. Nature of eye complaint was the most significant factor that determined how early respondents sought help (P < 0.001). Place of residence, nature of eye complaint, and employment status were significant determinants of the choice of place of first presentation for ocular complaints.


There is need for improved eye health education and awareness for prompt presentation to an appropriate eye care professional at the onset of symptoms and even case finding for potentially blinding eye conditions.


Blindness; eye health–seeking behavior; ocular compliant; visual impairment

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