Given the rising public health burden of myopia, population-based data on the level of awareness about myopia amongst parents in Singapore are required for planning future awareness campaigns and public health interventions. This study aimed to evaluate the level of awareness of myopia amongst a group of parents residing in Singapore.
This study was a cross-sectional survey. A sample of 326 participants aged 19 to 69 years with at least 1 child were recruited at The Kidz Academy (TKA) 2018 exhibition in Singapore. Socio-demographic characteristics, smart device use and awareness of myopia (prevalence and mitigation strategies) were collected via an interviewer-administered online questionnaire.
56.7% (185/326) of survey respondents were aware of the high prevalence of myopia amongst secondary school-going Singaporean children. 18.1% (59/326) of the respondents reported that an eye-to-screen distance of less than 30 cm was acceptable and 27.0% (88/326) were unaware of the importance of regular eye examinations among children. Less than half of the respondents [46.6% (152/326)] correctly identified that Singaporean children spend at least 6.5 hours a day on digital screens. 87.7% (286/326) were aware of the importance of outdoor activity as an intervention to slow the progression of myopia, with female respondents significantly more likely to be aware of its importance [odds ratio (OR) = 2.12, 95% confidence interval = 1.09 – 4.13, χ2 = 4.86, P = .03].
Survey respondents demonstrated a good level of awareness of the high prevalence of myopia in Singapore and the protective role of outdoor activity in its development and progression. Awareness campaigns may be beneficial for promoting regular eye examinations amongst children and educating the public on the risk of excessive time spent on smart devices.