Postoperative cataract surgery satisfaction in a rural Kenyan clinic.
PURPOSE: To assess prospectively the factors influencing patient satisfaction following intracapsular cataract extraction (ICCE) surgery in a rural eye unit in Kenya. SETTING: Nakuru Eye Unit, Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital, Nakuru, Kenya, and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Department of International Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. METHODS: Starting in November 1992, 232 consecutive blind or visually impaired rural patients, over age 40, with simple senile cataract were offered free standard ICCE. Only 70% agreed to surgery. An interviewer-administered questionnaire and a brief interview were performed postoperatively on day 2, completing an extensive preoperative analysis that was part of the Kenya Rural Cataract Project. A satisfaction level indicator composed from the most important factors, applying a logistic regression model, is suggested as a predictive index for a patient to become a motivator in his or her community. RESULTS: Most patients were happy with their decision to have cataract surgery, even though 92% of the operations were done by clinical officers. Patients were overwhelmingly willing to have their fellow eye operated on or to recommend the operation to another "blind" friend (83.4%). The proposed model correctly classified 87.1% of operated patients, with high sensitivity (88.2%) and specificity (81.5%). CONCLUSIONS: Cultural differences are paramount in determining health behavior priorities and satisfaction. The post ICCE satisfaction in developing countries must be better evaluated to achieve higher self-referral of cataract-blind patients for surgery in Africa. Hospital conditions, although appreciated, did not play a major role in patients' satisfaction. The immediate surgical outcome was the key factor.