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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 247-51

A pilot study on awareness of diabetic retinopathy among non-medical persons in South India. The challenge for eye care programmes in the region.

Aravind Medical Research Foundation, Aravind Eye Care System, Madurai, India

Correspondence Address:
P Namperumalsamy
Aravind Medical Research Foundation, Aravind Eye Care System, Madurai
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 15510470

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This study was conducted to determine awareness and practices relating to diabetic retinopathy among non-medical persons in a south Indian population. In this population-based cross-sectional study, trained social workers conducted face-to-face interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire with 200 randomly selected paramedical personnel and 204 persons randomly selected from the community. Responses were graded on a five-point scale. Over half of respondents were not aware of risk factors for diabetic retinopathy. Only one-fifth of paramedics and one-tenth of persons from the community were aware that uncontrolled diabetes was a risk factor for retinopathy. Over 75% of respondents were not aware of either laser or surgery as an intervention for retinopathy. Although 80% of respondents from the community felt that yearly eye examinations were essential, only 43.5% had ever visited an ophthalmologist. Nearly three-fourths of paramedical personnel did not have any material related to diabetes for health education. It is evident that considerable effort is required to improve awareness of diabetic retinopathy, and to translate this improved awareness to actual utilisation of services.

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