Population-based eye health surveyImproving knowledge and understanding of eye health in Aotearoa
Why a survey?
Aotearoa New Zealand has never undertaken a population-based eye health survey and so currently has insufficient information on which to plan and deliver equitable eye care services.
When eye health services are not accessible, people may experience avoidable or treatable vision loss, and miss out on opportunities to participate fully with whānau or in everyday activities such as driving, working and learning.
By undertaking population-based studies, we are able to understand where services may not be accessible to people.
A snapshot of unmet need
In July 2021, we began a pilot eye health study in the Glen Innes, Panmure and Ōrākei areas of Auckland.
We wanted to get a snapshot of eye health needs among three population groups living in this area: Māori and Pacific people aged 40 years+, and other New Zealanders aged 50+ years
We also wanted to understand how a population-based survey might work in Aotearoa. Recruiting people door-to-door, we are particularly keen to learn the most effective ways to reach and recruit typically under-served communities, including Māori and Pacific peoples.
The pilot helps us to understand barriers people may experience to participating, and to test different strategies to encourage participation among different groups.
It also provides an opportunity to explore partnerships to support effective implementation of the survey across Aotearoa.
Our survey: A closer look
Each day we set up the eye clinic at Te Whare Piringa community centre in Glen Innes.
As part of the survey, we offer a full eye examination at a local pop-up eye clinic to all people identified with distance or near vision impairment.
Who are we working with?
Thanks to our supporters
The Community Eye Health research team would like to acknowledge The University of Auckland and the Buchanan Charitable Foundation for their support of the pilot study.
We would also like to thank Peter and Rae Fehl, Blind Low Vision New Zealand and New Zealand Association of Optometrists for funding eye tests for eligible participants.
To ensure all participants with vision impairment are able to access glasses, we are using the SOVS Community Spectacle Scheme, which is supported by Helen Blake, Barbara Blake and Essilor.