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Differences in minimal disease knowledge of keratoconus patients: Results from an international survey

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Francisco Figueiredo



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.Background/aims The objective of this multicentre, multinational, prospective study was to assess the level of basic understanding that individuals with keratoconus possessed about their condition. Methods We recruited 200 active keratoconus patients who were under regular review, and cornea specialists established a standard of 'minimal keratoconus knowledge' (MKK) that included an understanding of the definition, risk factors, symptoms and treatment options for the condition. We collected data from each participant regarding their clinical characteristics, highest level of education, (para)medical background and experiences with keratoconus within their social circle, and calculated the percentage of MKK attained by each patient. Results Our findings revealed that none of the participants met the MKK standard, with the average MKK score being 34.6% and ranging from 0.0% to 94.4%. Furthermore, our study showed that patients with a university degree, previous surgical intervention for keratoconus or affected parents had a higher MKK. However, age, gender, disease severity, paramedical knowledge, disease duration and best-corrected visual acuity did not significantly affect the MKK score. Conclusions Our study demonstrates a concerning lack of basic disease knowledge among keratoconus patients in three different countries. The level of knowledge exhibited by our sample was only one-third of what cornea specialists would typically anticipate from patients. This highlights the need for greater education and awareness campaigns surrounding keratoconus. Further research is needed to determine the most efficient approaches for enhancing MKK and subsequently improving the management and treatment of keratoconus.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Baenninger PB, Romano V, Figueiredo FC, Pradhan SP, Vohra V, Jeng BH, Iselin KC, Murphy CC, Kaufmann C, Thiel MA, Bachmann LM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMJ Open Ophthalmology

Year: 2023

Volume: 8

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 19/05/2023

Acceptance date: 06/05/2023

Date deposited: 29/06/2023

ISSN (electronic): 2397-3269

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/bmjophth-2022-001164

PubMed id: 37278427


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