Author(s): Newcomb PA, Klein R, Massoth KM. Education to increase ophthalmologic care in older onset diabetes patients: indications from the Wisconsin Epidemiologic Study of Diabetic Retinopathy. J Diabetes Complications. 1992 Oct-Dec;6(4):211-7. PMID 1482778
Journal: Journal Of Diabetes And Its Complications, Volume 6, Issue 4, 1992
Both physicians and diabetic persons must be educated about the need for regular ophthalmologic examinations to prevent blindness. A large population-based study of diabetic persons living in Southern Wisconsin (Wisconsin Epidemiologic Study of Diabetic Retinopathy), designed to evaluate the incidence and associated risk factors for diabetic retinopathy, provided the opportunity to evaluate an intervention to increase ophthalmologic care. As part of this study, a sample of persons less than 80 years of age with older onset diabetes of less than 15 years duration was identified and examined in both 1980-1982 and 1984-1986 (n = 619) using standardized protocols. Study subjects received educational material on diabetic eye disease, and examination findings were conveyed to each participant and their primary physician. To evaluate the effect of this intervention, a random representative sample of diabetic persons who were not selected for examination (a nonintervention control group) was identified and interviews were completed with 241 (80%) of the surviving subjects. The two study groups were similar with respect to demographic factors, employment status, medical history, and frequency of physician visits and hospitalizations, but not for income. Self-assessments of general health were also identical between the selected and nonintervention groups. Overall, both groups reported very similar patterns of ophthalmologic care, visual impairment, and knowledge of retinopathy. These results suggest that a more intensive intervention is needed to improve the ophthalmologic care patterns of the diabetic population at risk of eye disease.