Purchase this article with an account.
S. Albin, J. Benevento, J. Chang, R. D. Jager; Diabetic Retinopathy Knowledge in University Clinic Patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):171. doi: https://doi.org/.
Download citation file:
© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To determine the extent of knowledge of diabetic patients in a university ophthalmology clinic regarding diabetic retinopathy (DR), its treatment, and the effect of systemic comorbidities on DR.
A prospective study of diabetic patients from the University of Chicago Hospitals was performed. Patients completed a detailed eighteen question survey addressing their knowledge of diabetes, blood glucose levels, hemoglobin A1c, and DR.
Of 20 diabetic patients surveyed, only 65% correctly classified their diabetes as Type 1 or Type 2. 90% of patients could identify normal blood glucose levels, and 20% recorded ever having had blood sugar levels above 300 mg/dL. Only 50% of patients knew about hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), and only 40% of patients correctly identified an appropriate target HbA1c level. Patients who knew about HbA1c had a higher average maximum blood sugar level (244 +/- 88 vs. 195 +/- 37 mg/dL) and were three times more likely to report ever having a blood sugar level above 300 mg/dL. Seven patients received laser treatment for DR, and 50% of patients correctly answered that the laser treatment was performed to prevent their vision from worsening, while 33% believed it was performed to prevent diabetes from affecting their eyes, and 17% did not know why they underwent laser treatment. Although the majority (75%) of patients correctly answered that tight blood sugar control decreased the risk of DR, they also reported higher average maximum blood sugar levels than those who answered incorrectly (225 +/- 77 vs. 203 +/- 49 mg/dL) and were three times more likely to report ever having a blood sugar level above 300 mg/dL. With regard to systemic comorbidities, 70% of patients correctly answered that high blood pressure worsened DR, 50% correctly answered that high cholesterol worsened DR, and only 35% of patients correctly answered that aspirin had no effect on DR.
The level of disease awareness of diabetic patients in a university clinic is poor, and there is a significant need for greater patient education on monitoring diabetes and recognizing confounding factors of diabetic retinopathy. Poor insight into the disease was associated with lower reported blood glucose levels.
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only