Original Article | Volume 17 Number 1: 0 | 20 Jan 2022

Distribution of refractive error among chinese primary school children in a rural area in Pahang, Malaysia

ABSTRACT

Purpose: This study aimed to determine the prevalence and status of refractive error among Chinese primary school children in a rural area in Pahang.
Methods: This investigation entailed a cross-sectional retrospective study design involving case file analyses. The study site was a Chinese medium primary school in a rural locality within Bentong district. A total of 82 school children met the B40 classification and selection criteria; therefore, universal sampling was done. Analyses were done according to age group: Level 1 included ages 7 to 9 years, while Level 2 comprised 10- to 12-year-olds.
Results: The mean age of the 82 Chinese school children was 9.72±1.5 years; the percentage of refractive errors found was 80.48%. A total of 53 (64.63%) children had myopia. Two-way ANOVA showed a significant difference (P=0.038) in the refractive error between age groups Level 1 and 2, but no significant difference (P=0.947) was observed in refractive error between genders. The chi-square test and Fisher’s exact test showed no significant association between the type of refractive error with gender (P>0.05) and age group (P=0.319).
Conclusion: Myopia was the most common type of refractive error among Chinese school children in a rural area in Pahang. Refractive error severity was influenced by age group but not by gender. Types of refractive error were not associated with age group and gender. Hence, it is recommended that Chinese school children in rural areas seek an annual vision screening or eye test.

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