Knowledge, awareness, perception, and willingness towards eye donation among the literate working population
Aim: To evaluate awareness, knowledge, and perception towards eye donation among the literate working population.
Methodology: A new questionnaire on eye donation was developed from existing literature and face validation was performed among subject experts. Repeatability of the questionnaire was performed among 30 subjects. A total of 23 questions were there, out of those 6 questions for evaluating awareness, 13 questions for evaluating knowledge, and 4 questions for dertermining the subjects' perception. The questionnaire was distributed among subjects working in both the health science and non-health science fields. From their responses, knowledge, awareness, and perception towards eye donation in working literate population were assessed. A pledge form was also given along with the questionnaire to find the subjects' actual willingness.
Results: Repeatability: The questions in the awareness and knowledge domain showed good repeatability (p > 0.05). More than 50 % of the parameters in the perception domain showed poor repeatability (p < 0.05). Out of 189 subjects assessed, there were 97 health science and 92 non-health science subjects with total mean age 30 ± 7 years. Good awareness was present between health science (96%) and non-health science (94%). Only 21% of the health science and 11% of the non-health science group had good knowledge about eye donation. Only 25% said ‘yes’ to willingness about eye donation. However, only 3% filled the pledge form. No-one from the non-health science population filled the pledge form. Health science professionals showed more willingness to donate eyes compared to the non-health science group after adjusting for qualification, age ,and gender (odds ratio 2.158, p = 0.031, 95% CI (1.073, 4.341)). Study participants shared willingness to donate eyes and responded against negative perceptions such as "Family members object to eye donation” (odds: 3.75, p = 0.030, 95% CI (1.14, 12.39)), “Dislike of separating eye from the body” (odds:7.02, p =0.006, 95% CI (1.73, 28.42)), and “Donating an organ is against my religious belief” (odds: 8.51,p = 0.039, 95% CI (1.11, 65.09)).
Conclusion: Our study showed that education qualification and the perception like ‘eye donation is against religious beliefs’ and ‘dislike to separate eye from the body’ showed significant effect on the willingness to donate eyes. More than awareness and knowledge, perception about eye donation had more impact on the willingness to donate eyes. Therefore, more campaigns emphasizing the importance of eye donation need to be conducted to change the perceptions about eye donation rather than improving awareness or knowledge.