Prevalence of refractive errors in Nepalese children and adults: a systematic review with meta-analysis

Jeewanand Bist, Himal Kandel, Nabin Paudel, Dinesh Kaphle, Rajendra Gyawali, Sanjay Marasini, Rabindra Adhikary, Prakash Paudel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Clinical relevance: Country-specific estimates of the prevalence of refractive errors are important to formulate national eye health policies for refractive care services. Background: The purpose of this study was to systematically synthesise available literature and estimate the prevalence of refractive errors in the Nepalese population. Methods: PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science databases were systematically searched for articles on refractive errors and presbyopia published in English language until 27 September 2022. Population and school-based quantitative, cross-sectional prevalence studies and Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness survey repository data were included. The quality of the included studies was assessed using the Newcastle Ottawa scale adapted for cross-sectional studies. Data extraction was performed with consensus among the reviewers. Meta-analysis of the prevalence was performed using the Random effects model to estimate the pooled proportions. Results: A total of 38 studies with 101 701 participants were included: 18 studies in children (n = 31 596) and 20 in adults (n = 70 105). In children, the estimated pooled prevalence of overall refractive errors was 8.4% (95% CI: 4.8 to 12.9) with myopia, hypermetropia and astigmatism prevalent in 7.1% (95% CI: 3.7 to 11.4), 1.0% (95% CI: 0.7 to 1.3) and 2.2% (95% CI: 0.9 to 3.9), respectively. In adults, the prevalence of refractive errors, uncorrected refractive errors, and uncorrected presbyopia were 11.2% (95% CI: 8.0 to 14.9), 7.3% (95% CI: 5.4 to 9.5) and 78.9% (95% CI: 69.1 to 87.3), respectively. Conclusions: The pooled prevalence of refractive errors is relatively low while uncorrected refractive errors and presbyopia are high in Nepalese population suggesting a need for better access to refractive care services in the country. The paucity of quality evidence on prevalence of refractive errors, particularly in children, indicates a need for a well-designed population-based study to accurately estimate the current prevalence of refractive errors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-132
Number of pages14
JournalClinical and Experimental Optometry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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