Introduction: Visual rehabilitation by corneal transplantation remains the only treatment modality for treatable corneal blindness. Unfortunately the demand of the donated cornea remains high in comparison to its procurement. As these target groups will be future health care providers thus it is important that they know the intricacies of corneal donation. These groups will create awareness among the general public, thereby significantly increasing the corneal donation rate.
Objectives: To study the awareness and knowledge among medical, dental and nursing students towards eye donation in a medical college/Tertiary hospital.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 100 medical, 100 nursing and 100 dental students studying final year of their respective courses in Chettinad Health and Research Institute, Chennai.
Results: There was statistically significance in knowledge between the medical and all other groups showing that medical students are more aware about the practice of corneal donation.(p value: 0.0000001). Overall the awareness about the existence of practice of eye donation was only 57% among the study groups. Only 33.3% of study populations were willing to donate their eyes and 36% of study populations were willing to donate their relativeâ€™s eyes. 67.3% of the students required their familyâ€˜s consent and approval for corneal donation. 58.6% of the students knew that eyes cannot be donated by a living person and also fact that a living person can only pledge for eye donation.
54 % knew that eyeball should be removed within six hours after death. Only 49% of the study population knew the name of nearest eye bank and only 24.6% of study population knew how long the donated eyes can be stored before transplantation. Overall, the awareness and knowledge of medical students was better than nursing and dental students in all the above aspects (p value: 0.0000001) but the levels of motivation were low in all the study groups (p value: 0.006).
Conclusion: The result of this study concluded that medical students were more knowledgeable about various intricacies associated with corneal donation than other two study groups (p value: 0.0000001) which was statistically significant. There was no statistical significance seen in motivation levels of all study groups (p value: 0.06). This study was undertaken to assess the depth of awareness and knowledge among the study groups. These groups are targeted as they are future care providers giving us an idea about targeting motivation and awareness programmes among these groups.
Corneal donation, Dental, Medical and nursing students, Awareness, Knowledge.