Eye Health Knowledge and Eye Health Information Exposure Among Hispanic/Latino Individuals: Results From the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos

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Abstract

Importance

Routine eye care is important to maintaining eye health and preventing visual impairment. However, poor knowledge of ocular risk factors and disease as well as minimal exposure to eye health information may compromise adherence to eye care recommendations. Studies have shown that Hispanic/Latino people have poor eye care utilization, but little is known about their knowledge of eye health and exposure to eye health information.

Objective

To examine factors associated with more eye health knowledge and greater exposure to eye health information among Hispanic/Latino people.

Design, Setting, and Participants

This was a cross-sectional ocular study of 1235 participants living in the Miami, Florida, site of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, a multisite epidemiologic study of disease prevalence and development among Hispanic/Latino people. Data were collected from October 1, 2011, through September 30, 2013, and data analyses were conducted between May 28, 2014, and March 18, 2015. Descriptive and multivariable regression analyses were performed for 3 ocular health care outcomes. Regression models were built sequentially, with variables conceptually grouped according to Andersen’s Behavioral Model of Health Services Use and Behavioral Model for Vulnerable Populations.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Ability to identify 8 factors on a general eye health knowledge scale and number of eye health information sources seen or heard about in the past 12 months.

Results

Of the 1235 participants, 748 (73.4%) self-identified as being of Cuban descent and 407 (19.2%) self-identified as being from Central or South America, 478 (46.7%) were women and 757 (53.3%) were men, and the mean (SD) age was 53.6 (8.1) years. Participants with at least a high school degree or general educational development certificate had greater eye health knowledge (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 1.08; 95% CI, 1.01-1.15 and IRR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.04-1.17, respectively) as did those with a higher mental health score on the Short Form 12-Item, version 2, Health Survey (IRR, 1.03; 95% CI, 1.01-1.04). Those with educational attainment beyond a high school degree or a general educational development certificate (IRR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.07-1.54), those who were 60 years or older (IRR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.06-1.63), and those with a household income in US dollars of $20 001 to $40 000 (IRR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.05-1.44) or greater than $40 000 (IRR, 1.25; 95% CI, 0.98-1.59) were more likely to be exposed to at least 5 sources of eye health information in the past 12 months.

Conclusions and Relevance

Among Hispanic/Latino people, age, educational level, income, and mental health may be important correlates of eye disease knowledge and eye health information exposure. These findings might be used to support the development of targeted interventions designed to improve eye health in this population.

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