Purpose: To assess the knowledge and attitude of school-going adolescents regarding corneal donation in government and private schools in an urban area of Northern India.
Methods: A school-based cross-sectional study was conducted in an urban field practice area of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, India. A total of 365 participants of the seventh to 10th grade were enrolled from a government school and a private school. A pretested, semistructured, self-administered, bilingual (English and Hindi) questionnaire was used to assess the sociodemographic profile and knowledge and attitude related to corneal donation.
Results: Most (87%) (confidence interval, 83.1%–90.0%) participants had heard about corneal donation. Only 2% of students answered all the knowledge-related questions correctly. None knew about the national toll-free number for corneal donation. Three-fourth (72%) supported the idea of corneal donation. Of them, only 44% (confidence interval, 41.0–47.1) were willing to pledge to donate their own eyes. Fears and myths were the persistent barriers. The government and private schools differed in both knowledge and attitude, with the latter performing better.
Conclusions: Knowledge among the selected high school children was poor. Although many supported the idea, only a few were willing to donate. We suggest that program components be evaluated from time to time. Future studies should explore the role of strengthening Information Education and Communication (IEC) activities among high school students for motivating community members to pledge to donate for corneal donation.
*Department of Ophthalmology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India;
†Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India; and
‡Department of Community Medicine, AJ Institute of Medical Sciences, Mangalore, India.
Reprints: Jagat Ram, MS, FAMS, Department of Ophthalmology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India 160012 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.
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Received September 25, 2016
Received in revised form December 18, 2016
Accepted December 26, 2016