PURPOSE: To estimate the factors and prevalence of eye care service utilization in the South Korean population.
METHODS: This cross-sectional, population-based study included data from 22,550 Koreans aged ≥5 years who participated in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2010 to 2012. For people aged 5 to 11 years (young children), information was based on self-reports of contact with eye care service in the past year; for people aged ≥12 years (older population), the information was based on the self-reported lifetime contact with eye care service. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses of the complex sample survey data were performed.
RESULTS: The prevalence of eye care service use in young children during the past year was 61.1% (95% confidence interval, 58.1%-64.1%), while that in the older population during their lifetime was 73.5%. Subjects aged 7 to 11 years were more likely to have had an eye examination in the past year than subjects aged 5 to 6 years (odds ratio, 3.83; 95% confidence interval, 2.37-6.19). Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that higher monthly household income, being a National Health Insurance holder, and having private health insurance were related to more frequent use of eye care services in young children. For the older population and women, those living in an urban area and those with a best-corrected visual acuity less than 20 / 40 in the worse-seeing eye were more likely to have had an eye examination during their lifetime. Low education level was associated with low lifetime use of eye care services in the older population.
CONCLUSIONS: There are sociodemographic disparities with use of eye care services in South Korea. This population-based study provides information that is useful for determining different intervention programs based on sociodemographic disparities to promote eye care service utilization in South Korea.
- Healthcare disparities
- National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
- Socioeconomic factors
- South Korea