It was reported that lack of knowledge, less confidence of medical services, commute difficulties, and poor economic conditions would be the main barriers for cataract surgery practice. The influencing factors could have changed in cities with high developing speed. Shanghai is one of the biggest cities in China and the world. The purpose of the study was to explore the factors influencing cataract surgery practice in Shanghai.
This was a population-based, cross-sectional study. A total of 2342 cataract patients older than 50 years old with cataract-induced visual impairment or who had undergone cataract surgery were recruited from rural and urban areas of Shanghai. Participants accepted a face-to-face structured questionnaire. Data were collected on patient demographics, education, work, income, health insurance, awareness about cataracts disease, treatment and related medical resources and deration policy, transportation and degree of satisfaction with hospitals.
There were 417 patients who had received cataract surgery, 404 of them supplied complete information in the questionnaire. More female subjects (64.6%) than male subjects (35.4%) accepted cataract surgery among the 404 patients. Of the patients with cataract history, 36.4% of surgery patients were equal or older than 80. More people with urban medical insurance received surgery (p = 0.036). Patients who received surgery were more satisfied with local medical service (p = 0.032). In urban area, Lower income and difficulties with commutes were related to a higher rate of surgery.
Cataract patients with the following features were more inclined to receive surgery: female, old age, better awareness. In urban areas low income and difficult commutes did not represent barriers for cataract surgery, probably because of appropriate cataract surgery promotion policies recent years in Shanghai. In rural areas, better healthcare reimbursement policies would likely lead to a higher uptake of cataract surgery. Further cohort studies with more controls could supply stronger evidence for our viewpoint.