Available online 29 April 2013
SOURCE:Primary Care Diabetes
Author(s): Ebru N.etin , Mehmet Zencir , Semin Fenk i , Fulya Ak n , Cem Y ld r m
AimsRaising awareness of diabetic retinopathy (DR) was shown to be a key element for early diagnosis and treatment of this blinding disease. There is very limited data about the knowledge level, attitude, and behavior of diabetic patients regarding DR in Turkey. This study was planned to assess the awareness of DR and the utilization of eye care services among Turkish diabetic patients.MethodsDiabetic patients who were under the care of ophthalmologists, endocrinologists, and/or primary care physicians were administered a questionnaire in order to assess their awareness of diabetes and its ocular complications.ResultsA total of 437 patients (51.8% female and 48.2% male) with a mean age of 55.2 11.9 were included in the study. Of the 437 patients, 31.8% had not been educated about diabetes, 88.1% were aware that diabetes can affect the eyes, and 39.8% thought that diabetics with good glycaemic control might suffer from DR. While 86.7% thought that early diagnosis was possible in DR, 77.3% previously had eye examinations, and 41.9% stated that annual eye examinations were necessary for diabetics. An educational level of middle school or higher, duration of DM longer than 5years, previous DM education, and recruitment from the university (ophthalmology department and endocrinology department) were associated with better awareness of DR. The independent factors associated with visiting an ophthalmologist on a regular basis were DM education, DM duration, and site of recruitment.ConclusionAlthough most of the patients know that DM affects the eye, there is a lack of appropriate knowledge and behavior about the management of DR. The importance of better control of DM and regular eye examination in the prevention of DR should be emphasized.