Awareness of retinopathy of prematurity among pediatricians in West Bank, Palestine: A descriptive study
Publication Type
Original research

Background: Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a disorder of the developing retina of preterm infants due to defective vasculogenesis. The aim of the study was to analyze the level of awareness, knowledge, attitude and practice of pediatricians about ROP in the West Bank, Palestine. Methods: A questionnaire was designed on the knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) pattern. The questionnaire included questions about pediatrician's educational and practicing profile, knowledge of screening guidelines, risk factors for ROP, referral facilities and barriers for referral. The questionnaire was given to70 practicing specialists and residents in hospitals having neonatal intensive care units in the West Bank, Palestine. It was a self-administered questionnaire, collected between November 2016 and February 2017. Results: A total of 70 pediatricians from 11 different hospitals without ROP screening service participated in the study. The mean age of the participants was 33.04 ± 7.74. Of which, 62.9% were males and 37.1% were females. Fifty-nine (84.3%) answered that ROP is preventable, while 11 (15.7%) responded that ROP is not preventable. Nine (12.9%) pediatricians had no idea as to which part of the eye is affected in ROP. Among the participants, 29 (41.4%) did not know when ROP screening should be started. Sixty-three (90%) pediatricians were sure that ROP is treatable. Regarding barriers for ROP screening, 'ophthalmologist not available' reason was expressed by 37.1% (26/70), 'discharge person not writing' by 20% (14/70) and 'parents not agreeing' by 18.6% (13/70) of the participants. Knowledge on the use of laser as a treatment modality of ROP was shown by 39 (55.7%) participants, and the use of anti-VEGF was shown by 6 (8.6%) participants, whereas 25 (35.7%) of the participants didn't know about the treatment modalities. Conclusion: The study findings suggest that a large majority of pediatricians were aware of ROP as a preventable disease, but had less information about ROP screening guidelines and service delivery. The study suggests the need to increase the awareness of pediatricians by dissemination of information about ROP and creating a close coordination between them and ophthalmologists to address barriers for service delivery in Palestine. © 2018 The Author(s).

BMC Ophthalmology
BioMed Central Ltd
Publisher Country
United Kingdom
Thomson Reuters
Impact Factor
Publication Type
Prtinted only