Reader case studies
The five case studies have been selected to represent the wider Community Eye Health Journal readership. They have been taken from responses to our 2011 Reader Survey 1.
- Mrs W, Ophthalmic nurse, Cameroon
- Ms J, Ophthalmologist, India
- Mr M, Community health worker, Zambia
- Ms G, Ophthalmic nurse, Papua New Guinea
- Mr K, Optometry student, Nepal
Mrs W works in primary eye care for a hospital in Douala and sees more than one hundred eye patients every week. In addition to her main duties she also carries out health promotion, patient education and counselling.
A journal subscriber since 2008, Mrs W receives her own personal copy through the post. She finds the content very useful, “I like the ways they present the articles inside the journal and also the way they explain the various type of procedures and the way they keep us informed about the various meetings and up to date courses and training programmes.”
When asked how the journal supports her work, Mrs W highlights how it has improved her communication with patients,
“[By] creating a good atmosphere with the patients by asking how they greet in their native language. By explaining to the patients what i am going to do with the instruments such as examination by using the puff air machine.”
Mrs W shares her journal issues with between ten and nineteen other colleagues. She also photocopies content for discussions and presentations when training colleagues or talking to patients.
When asked what would make the journal better Mrs W replies, “It delays reaching me so please is yesterday that i am receiving the month of March Journal.”
Mrs W has a mobile phone which she uses for calls and sending SMS messages. She has occasional access to the internet but finds it too expensive, time consuming and daunting to use.
Ms J works at a private sector district hospital in a city in Bangalore. In addition to her clinical work she is involved in community outreach, programme planning, hospital management and policymaking.
A journal subscriber since 1998, she reads the majority of articles in each issue. She shares her copies of the journal with several colleagues and students and uses the articles in her training.
The journal is an important source of information for Ms J. She likes that it “gives creative ideas to use in community work” and she particularly enjoyed issue 72, When your eye patient is a child. “Very practical, [I had] not thought about ways to examine children – very useful.”
Reading the journal has helped Ms J improve her work. “Mad[e] me see the importance of community work. I now help train community workers to detect eye problems, they refer patients back to me. My practice has improved and gives me a great sense of fulfillment [sic].” She is keen to see the journal include “more material to train village health workers, esp [already] material tested and used by others.”
Ms J has good access to a computer and to a library/resource centre but only occasional access to email or the internet.
Mr M works at the community level for an NGO in Zambia. He sees between one and nineteen eye patients each week. He began reading the Community Eye Health Journal in 2009 and it is his only source of educational material on eye care. He receives a personal copy through the post and also the copy sent to his organization. He reads most of each issue and photocopies articles for use when teaching in the community. He estimates more than 50 people see content from each issue he receives.
The journal helps Mr M improve his practice. “The information I get from each volume [of the journal] is unique and very helpful.” He now knows “[t]o attend to one patient at a time and get full history of the problem; how it started, when etc, etc”
Mr M does not receive any professional training. Courses are too far away and expensive and his organisation is unable to support him in obtaining training.
Mr M has occasional access to a computer and the internet but he finds it too expensive to visit the journal website. He has no access to a library or resource centre.
Ms G works at a city hospital and also carries out eye care outreach in rural areas. She sees between 80 and 99 eye patients each week. Ms G has been reading the Community Eye Health Journal since 2004.
She receives a personal copy through the post and also the copy sent to her hospital. She reads the majority of the articles in each issue and uses the journal for training others. She photocopies articles and adapts content by hand to show to her colleagues and students. She enjoys the recent CPD section of the journal and finds it very useful.
She finds the practical information in the journal very useful, for example in helping her with “teaching non health/eye care workers to help out with visual acuity when on an outreach programme.” She believes the journal helps refresh her knowledge, keep her up-to-date and in touch with eye care developments elsewhere and also helps build her confidence. In particular, Ms G is “very much interested in the rural programmes.”
Ms G has no access to a computer, email or the internet and the journal is her only source of educational material on eye care.
Mr K is studying optometry in Kathamandu, Nepal. A subscriber to the Community Eye Health Journal since 2008, he receives his own personal copy through the post and usually reads most of the issue. Several student colleagues also read his copy.
Mr K finds the journal very useful, updating his knowledge and helping him improve his practice.
“[T]he issue of march 2010 on “when your patient is a child ” was especially very helpful in changing my approach regarding the management of pedriatic [sic] patients….the management of strabismus and the installation of eye drops and ointments as well as the approach to a pedriatic [sic] case were of enormous help to me.”
“The journal makes us aware about the advancements in eye health and the approaches to various diseases…At the same time it is also very useful from the behavioral point of view because it makes us feel the need to go out to the poor people in the community”
Mr K has good access to the internet and visits the journal website at least once a month. He has a mobile phone and uses it for email and the internet as well as for making calls and sending texts/SMS messages.
2011 Community Eye Health Reader Survey Summary Report, PDF (390Kb)