September 2016
Volume 57, Issue 12
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
International Diabetes Survey: Knowledge, Perceptions and Quality of Life in Seven Countries
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sharon M. Hudson
    Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Research, Pasadena, California, United States
  • Jennifer Jimenez
    Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Research, Pasadena, California, United States
  • Tiffany Luong
    Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Research, Pasadena, California, United States
  • Donald S Fong
    Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Research, Pasadena, California, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Sharon Hudson, Allergan (F); Jennifer Jimenez, None; Tiffany Luong, None; Donald Fong, Allergan (F)
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 2016, Vol.57, No Pagination Specified. doi:
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      Sharon M. Hudson, Jennifer Jimenez, Tiffany Luong, Donald S Fong; International Diabetes Survey: Knowledge, Perceptions and Quality of Life in Seven Countries. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 201657(12):.

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      © 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

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Abstract

Purpose : Various instruments have been used to assess diabetes-related knowledge and attitudes, making it difficult to compare results across groups and internationally. We conducted telephone interviews with diabetic patients in seven countries in order to understand the complications they have, their worries or fears about complications, and the impact of diabetes on their quality of life.

Methods : In April-May, 2006, 1,458 telephone interviews were conducted among adults with diabetes: 250 in the U.S. and roughly 200 each from the U.K., Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and South Africa. The sample was derived from multiple sources, including physician offices. Data were weighted to be representative of diabetics in each country (except South Africa, where weighting targets were not available). Respondents answered 19 questions regarding knowledge of and experience with diabetes and its complications, treatment, and quality of life.

Results : Most respondents in all countries (87.7% - 90.6%) had Type 2 diabetes. About 25% were diagnosed less than 5 years previously, while 25% were diagnosed over 20 years ago. Only 40% correctly identified 11 potential complications of diabetes; many (9% - 49%) were unaware of blindness as a complication. Overall 44% feared loss of vision more than any other complication, including death (13%). A majority (52% - 91%) stated that a regular dilated eye exam is very important, and reported receiving one at least yearly. Among those with no vision loss, most expressed concern with how it might affect activities such as driving or reading (74% - 96%), or leisure time such as travel (60% - 94%). Many of those with diabetes-related vision loss indicated it led to feeling depressed (33% - 52%), angry (18% - 49%), and withdrawn (16% - 43%).

Conclusions : Among diabetics, knowledge of the condition varied among countries, with substantial room for improvement. Loss of vision was a central concern both for those who had experienced it and for those who had not. Both groups described negative impacts vision loss could have on quality of life. Although responses on some questions varied significantly by country, the general pattern of results was quite consistent. These data suggest an international need for education among those with diabetes, and for interventions and services to address quality of life issues among those with vision loss.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.

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