To understand the perceptions of adolescents and their parents about spectacle compliance of adolescents in Southern India.
Using a qualitative snapshot design, three focus group discussions were conducted each with parents and adolescents studying in schools located in and around Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Purposive sampling technique was used in the selection of participants. Separate focus group guides were developed for parents and adolescents. All focus group discussions were conducted in the school premises and audio recorded. These audio files were then transcribed verbatim and then translated into English. A framework analytical approach was used for data analysis that involved gaining familiarity with the data to identify a thematic framework.
Two major themes that emerged were (1) perceptions on barriers to spectacle compliance that was further subdivided into physical, psychological, and societal barriers; and (2) solutions to improve spectacle use. Barriers identified included scars on the nose, unattractive frames contributing to poor appeal, adolescents feeling discriminated and set apart, fears of injury to eyes, lack of parental involvement, and negative attitudes of society toward those wearing spectacles. Solutions given by the stakeholders included provision of lightweight, well-fitting, trendy frames of adolescents’ choice, importance and need for periodical eye examinations, including teachers in encouraging spectacle use and preventing bullying and teasing by other adolescents, provision of free spectacles along with periodic replacement, and inclusion of awareness sessions on spectacle use for both parents and adolescents.
The study has identified both barriers and solutions for improving spectacle compliance among school adolescents from the viewpoint of the stakeholders involved. Implementing the solutions suggested by the stakeholders through planned intervention programs could possibly help in ensuring better compliance of spectacle use among school adolescents.
Elite School of Optometry, Unit of Medical Research Foundation (in collaboration with Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani), Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India (AN, KKR); SASTRA University, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India (AN, SK); and Samarth, Chennai, India (SK).
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Anuradha Narayanan, Elite School of Optometry, No. 8 GST Rd, St. Thomas Mount, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600016, India, e-mail: email@example.com