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B. E. Munoz, M. O'Leary, M. Aguilar, E. Rosario, I. Guardiola, C. Fickes, P. Poppe, S. K. West; Indicators of Success on a Diabetic Eye Disease Health Campaign Targeted to the Latino Population. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):167.
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The Hispanic population in the United States is the largest growing minority community. One in five Latinos over the age of 40 has diabetes and almost half have diabetic retinopathy. Appropriate care for diabetic eye disease is vital as it is the leading cause of visual loss among working-age Latinos. Our aim is to examine effect on knowledge and eye care seeking behavior among Latinos with diabetes of a promotional health program. The goals of this program are:1) to increase the knowledge of the ocular consequences of diabetes; 2) stress the importance of annual ophthalmic exams; and 3) to reduce barriers to eye care
Two interviews, a year apart (summer 2005 and 2006), on knowledge of diabetic eye disease and eye care seeking behavior, were obtained from a cohort of Latinos with diabetes. During the interim year, the health communication campaign was launched
A total 183 Latinos with diabetes living in the Baltimore Metropolitan area were identified. One hundred and forty six or 80% had both baseline and follow-up interviews. There were improvements in the proportion of respondents reporting access to routine care (56% vs. 69%, p=0.02), mentioning eye disease as a consequence of uncontrolled diabetes (43% vs. 63%, p<0.01), knowing that timely treatment could prevent vision deterioration (40% vs. 55%, p=0.003). There was an increase in the proportion having a dilated eye exam within the previous 2 years (43% vs. 64%, p<0.01).
The increase in both knowledge and access of eye care suggests that the communication program is reaching the target population. However it is important to identify ways to maintain the level of awareness, and reduced barriers provided by the program to be able to have a long-term impact on the magnitude of visual impairment due diabetic eye disease among Latinos.
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