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R. R. Wilson, A. W. Eller, J. C. Zgibor, C.-Y. Chen, L. M. Siminerio; Testing an Educational Program Designed to Assess Knowledge of Diabetic Eye Disease. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):1372.
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50-70% of individuals with diabetes are compliant with the recommendations for retinopathy screening. Yet, as physician’s, we expect our patients to be responsible for their own health. We hypothesized that a diabetes eye education program will impart knowledge, which will stress the importance of screening eye exams for retinopathy, and thereby, increase the rate of eye exams, and reduce the risk of blindness.
This study was designed to test the impact of a diabetes educational video. A questionnaire was administered before and after the educational component to determine the effectiveness of the video presentation. This was approved by the University of Pittsburgh IRB as an exempt study.
There were 63 study participants from two screening sites. All participants had a known diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, with 6% reporting type 1, and 84% with type 2. 60% were female, and the mean age was 58 years old. The mean duration of diagnosed diabetes was 8 years. Only 29 (46%) of the subjects were aware of their hemoglobin A1c levels. The pre- and post questionnaires contained the same 10 questions. For example, when queried about laser surgery halting the progression of retinopathy, the correct response increased from 38% to 83% after viewing the video. Prior to watching the video, on average, 76% of the responses were correct. The post test correct responses increased to 92%. Results were significant with p<0.0001
This study showed that there was a lack of understanding regarding the nature of diabetic eye disease. More than 25% had not had an eye exam in the past year, and almost half did not know their A1c level. As health care providers, if we expect our patients to act responsibly, and maintain compliance, they must have appropriate education that stresses the importance of optimal glycemic control, and that severe vision loss from diabetes can usually be prevented with medical/surgical intervention.
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