Aim: To assess how gender and socio-economic factors influence demand for eye health care services among new outpatient clinic attendees.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional cross-sectional study of patients attending the outpatient eye clinic of a Nigerian tertiary health institution for the first time. Interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to obtain bio-demographic data and information relating to persons involved in decision taking for eye health services demands.
Result: One hundred and fifty respondents were recruited into the study consisting of 68 (45.3%) males and 82 females. Age range of respondents was 1-94 years with a mean age of 42.8 ± 22.9 years. The average age of males was significantly higher than females (p=0.007). Males that fully self-funded their services were significantly higher than females (51.5% vs 28.0; p=0.002) while monthly average personal income was not significantly different between the genders. Males also had overall worse visual status. Statistically notable predictors of financial obstacles constituting a delay to accessing eye care services were, female gender, self-only funding of eye care visit, low income level, worse visual status.
Conclusion: Demand for eye care services is often beyond individual factors but rather the household play a role in eye health-related decisions.