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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 13  |  Page : 47-51

Effect of health education and screening location on compliance with diabetic retinopathy screening in a rural population in Maharashtra

Department of Ophthalmology, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sewagram Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Smita Singh
Department of Ophthalmology Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sewagram Wardha, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_1976_19

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Purpose: To compare the acceptance of diabetic retinopathy (DR) screening by the proximity of care and health education in rural Maharashtra. Methods: Study was done in the public health facilities in four blocks (in two blocks at community health center (CHC) level and in other two blocks at primary health center (PHC) level with the provision of transport from villages to PHCs) over 3 months. Health education was not imparted in one block in each segment. Health education consisted of imparting knowledge on diabetes mellitus (DM) and DR by trained village-level workers. The screening was done using non-mydriatic fundus camera and teleophthalmology supported remote grading of DR. Results: In the study period, 1,472 people with known diabetes were screened in four blocks and 86.6% (n = 1275) gradable images were obtained from them. 9.9% (n = 126) were detected having DR and 1.9% (n = 24) having sight-threatening DR (STDR). More people accepted screening closer to their residence at the PHC than CHC (24.4% vs 11.4%; P < 0.001). Health education improved the screening uptake significantly (14.4% vs 18.7%; P < 0.01) irrespective of the place of screening—at CHC, 9.5% without health education vs 13.1% with health education; at PHC, 20.1% without health education versus 31.6% with health education. Conclusion: Conducting DR screening closer to the place of living at PHCs with the provision of transport and health education was more effective for an increase in the uptake of DR screening by people with known diabetes in rural Maharashtra.

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