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BACKGROUND: Attendance rates for eye clinics are low across low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and exhibit marked sociodemographic inequalities. We aimed to quantify the association between a range of sociodemographic domains and attendance rates from vision screening in programmes launching in Botswana, India, Kenya and Nepal. METHODS: We performed a literature review of international guidance on sociodemographic data collection. Once we had identified 13 core candidate domains (age, gender, place of residence, language, ethnicity/tribe/caste, religion, marital status, parent/guardian status, place of birth, education, occupation, income, wealth) we held workshops with researchers, academics, programme implementers, and programme designers in each country to tailor the domains and response options to the national context, basing our survey development on the USAID Demographic and Health Survey model questionnaire and the RAAB7 eye health survey methodology. The draft surveys were reviewed by health economists and piloted with laypeople before being finalised, translated, and back-translated for use in Botswana, Kenya, India, and Nepal. These surveys will be used to assess the distribution of eye disease among different sociodemographic groups, and to track attendance rates between groups in four major eye screening programmes. We gather data from 3,850 people in each country and use logistic regression to identify the groups that experience the worst access to community-based eye care services in each setting. We will use a secure, password protected android-based app to gather sociodemographic information. These data will be stored using state-of-the art security measures, complying with each country's data management legislation and UK law. DISCUSSION: This low-risk, embedded, pragmatic, observational data collection will enable eye screening programme managers to accurately identify which sociodemographic groups are facing the highest systematic barriers to accessing care at any point in time. This information will be used to inform the development of service improvements to improve equity.

Original publication




Journal article


Wellcome Open Res

Publication Date





data collection, embedded research, epidemiology, equity, eye health, global health, pragmatic research, screening, sociodemographic, socioeconomic position, socioeconomic status