|Year : 2021 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 108-113
Awareness on eye donation among medical and nonmedical students: A cross-sectional comparative study
Guru Dhanushia1, Pratima Sahu2, Elfride Farokh Sanjana1, Amit Kumar Mishra3
1 Department of Ophthalmology, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Raipur Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
3 Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
|Date of Submission||25-Feb-2021|
|Date of Acceptance||16-Jul-2021|
|Date of Web Publication||30-Dec-2021|
Department of Ophthalmology, Raipur Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur, Chhattisgarh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Globally, there are 45 million blind people with an annual increase of 1–2 million. Corneal blindness is the 4th leading cause of blindness. The demand for donor's eyes is much higher than the number of donor's eyes collected, and the number of corneal transplants done is insufficient. One of the reasons for reduced eye donation is the lack of awareness of the process of eye donation and corneal transplantation.
Materials and Methods: A comparative, questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the awareness on eye donation among medical and nonmedical students of Puducherry. The participants were given a predesigned and structured questionnaire which included 25 questions after informed consent was obtained from them. The results were derived through the statistical analysis.
Results: The primary source of awareness for both groups was mass media. About 90.3% of medical and 41.9% of the nonmedical students knew that consent for eye donation is given by the donor while alive (P < 0.000), also that the first-degree relatives have the right to give consent for the dead was 88.2% and 49.5% among medical and nonmedical students, respectively (P < 0.000). Three-fourths of medical and half the nonmedical students knew that corneal donation could not cure all types of blindness. Around 87.1% of medical and 36.6% of nonmedical students were aware that eyes with corneal diseases could not be donated.
Conclusion: The present study showed that participants from both groups were aware of eye donation, but the awareness among nonmedical students was not adequate. This study also shows that mass media was the most common source of awareness among the students, which could be used to create further awareness among the students.
Keywords: Awareness, cornea, eye donation, medical, nonmedical
|How to cite this article:|
Dhanushia G, Sahu P, Sanjana EF, Mishra AK. Awareness on eye donation among medical and nonmedical students: A cross-sectional comparative study. J Curr Res Sci Med 2021;7:108-13
|How to cite this URL:|
Dhanushia G, Sahu P, Sanjana EF, Mishra AK. Awareness on eye donation among medical and nonmedical students: A cross-sectional comparative study. J Curr Res Sci Med [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jun 28];7:108-13. Available from: https://www.jcrsmed.org/text.asp?2021/7/2/108/334447
| Introduction|| |
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every 5 seconds, one person goes blind. There are currently about 45 million blind people globally, which is increasing 1–2 million every year. Damage to the cornea is the fourth most common cause of visual impairment and blindness which accounts for about 6–8 million of total blind cases. The majority of blinding corneal damage results from trachoma, which affects 4.9 million people; other common causes include ocular trauma, ulcerations, xerophthalmia, ophthalmia neonatorum, leprosy, and the use of traditional medicines. As per the WHO's blindness definition, around 145 million people worldwide are bilaterally blind; among them, 6–8 million are blind due to corneal disease. A major treatment option for restoring sight in corneal blindness is corneal transplantation through eye donation. Eye donation is the act of donating one's eyes after death, and the cornea only is transplanted. Only corneal blindness can be benefitted through this process and not any other type of blindness. It is a process of charity, purely for the benefit of society, and it is voluntary.
According to the data published by National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB, currently known as NPCBVI), in the year 2018-2019, 68409 donated eyes were collected against the target of 50000 eye collection but even these number of collected eyes were far less than the demand in India. This is mainly because of the unwillingness of the potential donors to pledge their eyes, lack of knowledge, and awareness regarding the process of eye donation and corneal transplantation. Hence, there is a need to create the awareness among the masses about eye donation and corneal transplantation to increase the procurement of corneas to bridge the gap between demand and supply. This study was designed to assess the awareness about corneal transplantation and eye donation among medical and nonmedical students who can spread the message in their respective communities.
| Materials and Methods|| |
A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the awareness about corneal transplantation and eye donation among medical and nonmedical students. The sample size estimated was 90 in each group considering the proportions of awareness in the two groups as p1 = 0.791 and p2 = 0.477 as per Eze BI et al. study, with a power of 95% at confidence level of 95%. Students from a tertiary medical college hospital (medical) and an engineering college (nonmedical students) were recruited for the study. Before recruitment of the study participants, prior permission from the Head of the Institution was obtained, and the data collection was done with prior information to the concerned faculty at the end of a theory class. The study was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee of a tertiary medical college hospital, Puducherry, India. Data from the study participants were collected using a predesigned, pretested, self-administered questionnaire which contained 25 questions. The printed questionnaires were distributed at the end of the scheduled theory class and collected from them after a specific time on the same day. All the students present in the class were requested to participate in the study, and those who were willing to participate submitted the completed forms to the investigator. Incomplete response sheets were excluded from the analysis. Data entry was done in EpiData version 3.1 (The EpiData Association, Odense, Denmark), and data analysis was performed using the IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences Statistics (SPSS) for Windows, Version 21.0 (developed by IBM Corp, Armonk, New York, USA). The results were presented in percentages, and the association between the two categorical variables was tested by the Chi-square test. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
| Results|| |
In the present study, 186 students participated, with 93 students in each medical and nonmedical group. The primary source of information for both the groups regarding eye donation was mass media, which was 48.4% and 37.6% for medical and nonmedical students, respectively. About 90.3% of the medical and 60.4% of nonmedical students knew regarding the confidentiality of the donor and the recipient of eye donation (P < 0.000). About 90.3% of medical and 41.9% of the nonmedical students knew that “consent for eye donation is given by the donor while alive” (P < 0.000), also that “the first degree relatives have the right to give consent for the dead” was 88.2% and 49.5% among medical and nonmedical students, respectively (P < 0.000). Three-fourth (79.6%) of medical students and 51.6% of nonmedical students knew that corneal donation could not cure all types of blindness; the difference in their knowledge was statistically significant, P < 0.000 [Table 1].
Most medical students (82.8%) and half of the nonmedical students (49.5%) knew that “there is no age limit for eye donation” and “blood group is not a barrier for eye donation.” An almost equal proportion of students (61.3% of medical and 55.9% of nonmedical students) knew that persons with a communicable disease could not donate their eyes. Around 87.1% of medical and 36.6% of nonmedical students were aware that “eyes with corneal diseases could not be donated”, this difference in awareness was statistically significant (P < 0.000) [Table 2].
|Table 2: Awareness on factors affecting eye donation among the study participants|
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Among the medical and nonmedical students, 89.2% and 78.5%, respectively, were aware that the donated eyes could be pledged at any hospital with an eye bank facility. Out of all participants in each group, 89.2% of medical and 64.5% of nonmedical students were aware that “the ideal time for removing the eye is <6 h after death.” Around 94.6% of medical and 33.3% of the nonmedical students knew that “cornea is the part of the eye that is being retrieved for transplant” (P < 0.000). Around 79.6% and 20.4% of medical students knew that “the place of removal of the eye is at the hospital and home,” respectively, and among nonmedical students, 89.2% and 4.3% knew that “the place of removal of the eye is at the hospital and home,” respectively (P < 0.000). Most of the (95.7%) medical students and 78.5% of nonmedical students knew that “the donated eye is stored in an eye bank” and 92.5% of medical and 47.3% of nonmedical students were aware that “the donated eye is removed by an ophthalmologist” the difference in knowledge is statistically significant (P < 0.000) [Table 3].
About half of the (57%) nonmedical students and 87.1% of medical students were aware of the organ donor card for eye donation. Around three-fifth (61.3%) of medical students were aware about an existence of an eye bank near their place, but only one-third (33.3%) of nonmedical students were aware of an eye bank near their place (P < 0.000). Half of the nonmedical students thought that eye donation does not disfigure the face while one-third (33.3%) said that it does; among the medical students, most of them (96.8%) said that eye donation does not disfigure the face. When asked about their willingness for eye donation, 74.4% of medical and 64.5% of nonmedical students were interested in donating their eyes. Around 66% of medical students who were unwilling to donate their eyes did not disclose the reason for their hesitation, and half the nonmedical students shared that there might be objections by family members against the eye donation [Table 4].
| Discussion|| |
Corneal transplantation to restore vision in corneal blind patients remains the most common type of human transplantation surgery. There are various strategies available to prevent corneal blindness, which may be cost-effective, but corneal transplantation remains the primary treatment for bringing back vision in patients with corneal blindness.
In the present study, most medical students and nonmedical students had heard about eye donation, similar to a survey done by Tiwari et al. in Gwalior among postgraduate medical students, which showed that 100% were aware of the concept of eye donation. There was a slight difference in the awareness level between the medical and nonmedical students, which may be attributed to a lack of awareness among the general population, including nonmedical students.
This study showed that the primary source of awareness was mass media among medical and nonmedical students; this finding was similar to the results shown by Jayashree et al. among the first and 2nd-year medical students.
Among the participants participated in this study, 94.6% of medical students and 33.3% of nonmedical students knew that the part of eye retrieved for transplant is cornea which is similar to a study conducted by Gupta et al. on a large number of nursing students, 74.4% knew that cornea is transplanted, but a study done by Dhaliwal said that about 31.5% of students said that the whole eyeball is removed for transplant.
In the present study, 74.4% of medical and 64.5% of nonmedical students would like to donate their eyes, 95.7% of medical students and 78.5% of nonmedical students knew where the eyes are preserved, and 61.3% of medial students and only 33.3% of nonmedical students were aware of eye bank which is in accordance with the study done by Vallinayagam et al. in Pondicherry on eye donation awareness among medical and engineering students, where about 87.4% of medical and 83.10% of nonmedical students expressed their willingness to donate their eyes. Around 57% of medical students and 48.80% of nonmedical students were aware of the storage of donated eyes. About 74% of medical students and 66.19% of nonmedical students were aware of eye banks.
| Conclusion|| |
The present study showed that both the medical students and the nonmedical students were aware of eye donation up to a certain level. However, the awareness among nonmedical students was not adequate. This study also shows that mass media was the common source of awareness among medical and nonmedical students, which could be used to create further awareness among the students.
There is a need to create the awareness among students. By creating awareness, various myths and misconceptions can be obliterated, and the gap between the corneal demand and supply can be reduced. The primary source of awareness between both groups is the Mass Media which could be used to create more awareness to increase the eye donation rates by involving celebrities of various fields to talk about corneal transplantation and eye donation, which might influence the decision of various people. Every year national eye donation fortnight is observed between August 25 and September 8. It is a campaign that aims to create public awareness on eye donation and motivate the people to pledge their eyes for donation that could be done through a group of doctors setting up camps in various institutions who can act as counselors for eye donation.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]