Knowledge and attitudes regarding eye donation and corneal transplants in Saudi Arabia: A cross-sectional study
Ahmad Bugis, Asim Ali, Ammar Almaghrabi, Abdulrahman Alharbi, Yousef Fatani, Sarah Alem, Muhammad Siddiqui
Background: Corneal transplantation is a method of choice for treating corneal blindness, a condition that leads to total vision loss. Saudi Arabia faces key challenges because a large number of people are waiting for corneal transplantation. The purpose of our study is to assess the knowledge and attitudes of the Saudi population regarding eye donation and corneal transplants. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 681 male and female in western region of Saudi Arabia (Makkah, Jeddah, and AL-Madinah cities) during July-October 2016. A pre-designed questionnaire was translated into Arabic and data were collected via structured interviews. We selected population consecutively. The data were analyzed using software SPSS ver. 23. Chi-square test of significance and t were used, where appropriate. P value (> 0.05) was considered statistically significant. Results: Out of total participants, 241 (64.4%) were females, and 133 (35.6%) were males. According to level of awareness only 11(2.9%) had good awareness. Mean score of knowledge was 7.23. About religion 360(96.3%) knew that eye donation is not against the religious beliefs. Only 26(7%) were aware that Saudi Arabia maintains eye banks. About 230(61.5%) agreed to donate their eyes and 87(23.3%) agreed to donate the eyes of their relatives after their deaths. Conclusion: The knowledge, attitudes and practice of the study population was poor about corneal transplantation and community should be better educated about the importance of eye donation.