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Purpose: To explore the possible economic and social differences between patients, who decided to receive refractive surgery and those, who did not.
Patients& Methods: We included only patients, who received a recommendation for excimer laser surgery at their first examination at the department of Ophthalmology in Marburg 89 included patients,who decided not to receive refractive surgey (NOP) and 100 patients, who received the operation were surveyed either telephonically or by letter. The standardized questionnaire listet 17 respectively 20 questions.
Results: No statistically significant differences concerning age, sex, gross income, marital status could be found. Patients of the two groups differed in the housing condition: 41.6% of the NOP-group life in a tenancy but only 17% of the OP-group (p<0,001). 89.9% of the nonoperated patients are self-pay patients but only 71% of the operated patients. A considerably larger proportion Of the OP-group than of the NOP-group go in for sports (92% vs 81%, p= 0,031) and may accordingly feel more uncomfortable with wearing glasses or contact lenses during sports than the compared group (71% vs 50,7%, p= 0,002). The main part of the OP-group use the media to form their opinion towards refractive surgery (61%), primary the print media (25%) and the internet (25%). In the NOP-group media does not play an as important role (42.7%). The opinion of their optician (11,2%, but only 1% of the OP-group) seems to be more important. The main reason for not performing refractive surgery were the costs of the operation (50 answers) and the missing guarantee for beeing absolutely independet of optical aid (glasses, lenses) after the operation (41 answers).
Conclusion: In the region of Mittelhessen differences in the pofile of patients, who do not decide to receive refractive surgery and those, who do, can be found. These differences concern the housing condition, the financiability of the surgical treatment, the sport activity and the preoperative uncomfort with visual aid (glasses, lenses)