Global survey on parent awareness and attitudes to myopia and its management

Global survey on parent perceptions and attitudes regarding myopia and myopia options

Elizabeth Lumb BSc MCOptom FBCLA
Claire Venezia BA MBA
James Gardner BSc
Aldo Zucaro PhD MBA
Anna Sulley BSc MCOptom FBCLA FAAO

Purpose: With increasing availability of myopia management (MM) interventions, awareness of myopia and its association with ocular health is limited among parents. This research sought to better understand parents’ familiarity with myopia and its management.

Method: A large-scale, 25-minute online survey was conducted by an independent market research agency (Decision Analyst).  Parents aged 30-55 with a myopic child between the ages of 6-15 were surveyed in UK, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia/New Zealand, Germany and Spain (August/September 2019). Statistical significance testing was performed at the 95% confidence level (p0.05).

Results: A total of 1,009 parents were surveyed across 6 countries. Parents in the UK, Canada, and Germany are less familiar with the term ‘myopia’ and recognise short sightedness (UK) or near sightedness (Canada/Germany). Significantly more parents in HK recalled advice from their eye care professional (ECP) to spend time outdoors compared to other countries (except for parents in Spain). German parents were significantly less likely to recall their ECP advising them to reduce screen time than other countries. When choosing a MM option parents from most countries see the importance of ‘protection from future eye health problems’ along with ‘comfort’ and ‘ease of use.’ UK also believe affordability is important and German parents think it’s important to reduce how blurry their child’s eyes will be in the future. 22% of parents globally would be comfortable putting their children at age 8 into contact lenses; this doubles to 43% at age 10.

Conclusions: This research demonstrates that communication with parents on myopia and its management using terminology that is easily understood is important. It also demonstrates that many parents believe that young children are not suitable for contact lenses. ECPs will need to overcome this belief to offer the full range of myopia management interventions available. Parents value the importance of protecting their myopic children from future eye health problems which could be encouraging for ECPs.

1st Author Biography: Elizabeth Lumb is a qualified optometrist and has spent time in a wide range of roles from contact lens research and private practice. She currently works for CooperVision Inc. as European Head of Professional Services for MiSight 1 day.

*Data correct at the time of submission to BCLA by NCC.