Parents' Perceptions towards the Role of School Health Units at Early Detection of Ocular Disorders among Students in Qassim Province, Saudi Arabia

Hamad F.Al-Qesair, Abdulrahman Alshammari


In Saudi Arabia, vision screenings are usually carried out by school health units (SHUs) and are mandatory for all children enrolling in schools. However, these screenings can miss visual disorders that could lead to public health problems. The purpose of this study was to examine parent perceptions of the role of SHUs towards early detection of visual problems among male students in Qassim Province, Saudi Arabia. The objectives of this research were; (1) to critically identify the relationship between school health units and early detection of visual disorders, as well as the impact of school services and activities on early detection of eye problems from the perspective of students' parents, and (2) to provide recommendations for health policies that may help reduce the prevalence of ocular disorders among students. Descriptive statistics were used to analyses responses of 100 parents from ten schools in two chosen areas in Qassim Province, regarding the role of SHUs and school support, as factors perceived by students' parents associated with early detection of ocular disorders. The findings of the research indicated inequity in accessibility to the SHUs' facilities. Furthermore, there was a lack of vision screenings by a SHU. In addition, the role of the school was not supported in detecting eye problems earlier. This study generally found that vision screenings conducted by SHUs are still insufficient after more than three decades. Accordingly, it was recommended to increase knowledge about eye health care for students and their parents, and to establish health clinics in schools.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2016.v7n4p198

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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