Clinical evaluation criteria and approach to management of ocular allergy by ophthalmologists in Kenya
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Title: Clinical evaluation criteria and approach to management of ocular allergy by ophthalmologists in Kenya.

Background: Ocular allergy (OA) encompasses a group of diseases in which there is a high frequency of atopy, ocular itching, stringy discharge and a papillary conjunctival reaction. It affects 20% of the population worldwide. Despite the high prevalence, its definition, a standard classification and staging as well as the guidelines to diagnosis and treatment are not globally accepted. Clinical evaluation criteria would allow appropriated evaluation of progression, the establishment of algorithms of treatment, as well as objective assessment in clinical trials for analysis of treatment efficacy.

Aims: This study aims to determine the clinical evaluation of OA by ophthalmologists in Kenya and also to describe their practices regarding the clinical grading and approach to management of ocular allergy.

Methods: The study is a descriptive (Knowledge Attitude and Practice) cross-sectional study which will be carried out in the Republic of Kenya from 1st December 2012- 30th April 2013. The study population will include all qualified and practising ophthalmologists covering public, private and faith based hospitals/clinics in Kenya. Primary data will be collected using self-administered questionnaires. Focus Group discussions will be used as a secondary data collection tool for triangulation and to get detailed information on the attitudes and practice of the ophthalmologists regarding ocular allergy (OA). Quantitative data analysis will be undertaken using Stata version 11.0 (Stata Corporation, College Station, TX, USA). Qualitative data will be imported into NVivo 10 software (QSR International Pty Ltd 1999 to 2012) for content analysis.

Results: This study will provide information on the current management of OA and the perceived importance of a grading system by ophthalmologists in Kenya.

Conclusion: The literature cited has indicated the importance of grading ocular allergy, especially in patient follow up and to determine algorithms of treatment. By conducting a KAP study I will be able to assess the environment and create awareness on the need for severity grading, and the need to generate a standardized protocol so as to guide clinicians on the management of ocular allergy.


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