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D. Wang, X. Ding, M. He, L. Yan, Q. Geng, N. Congdon; Utilization of Eye Care Services Among Diabetic Patients in Urban and Rural China. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):6011.
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To assess utilization of eye care and its predictors among diabetic patients in urban and rural China, about which little is currently known.
Sequential diabetic patients aged >= 18 years from an urban tertiary hospital, an urban community hospital and a rural hospital in Guangdong, China were administered a questionnaire and underwent chart review.
The participation rate among 889 eligible subjects was 92.7%. Among 824 participants (urban tertiary hospital 304, urban community hospital 319, rural hospital 201, mean age 62.6±12.9 years, 58.8% female), 550 (66.7%) had not been examined in the last year as recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), and 356 (43.2%) had never had an eye exam. For the rural hospital, these figures were 81.1% and 68.7% respectively. In logistic regression analyses, factors associated with having an eye examination in the last year were: attendance at urban hospitals (odds ratio [OR]=3.46 [P<0.001] and 1.76 [P=0.021] for tertiary and community hospitals respectively); higher DR knowledge score (OR=1.24, P=0.001), more concern about vision loss from diabetes (OR=1.22, P=0.007) and recommendation of regular eye exams by the physicians (OR=2.36, P=0.011). Predictors of ever having an eye examination were similar.
Our results suggest that the low proportion of diabetic receiving recommended annual eye examinations in both urban and rural China might be improved through education of both patients and physicians.
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