Need/Background: Diabetic retinopathy is estimated to be the most frequent cause of new cases of blindness in the United States among adults. Severe and moderate vision loss from diabetes is often preventable with timely detection and treatment.
Rationale: Many diabetic patients do not understand the importance of annual dilated fundus examinations in the absence of ocular symptoms, nor do they recognize the benefits of early detection of diabetic eye disease.
Methodological design: The proposed pilot study compares the efficacy of usual care to an intervention emphasizing patient education targeted at English-speaking adult patients with diabetes seeking eye care in an academic health center. This proposal illustrates the specific aims of the investigators to increase patient knowledge of preventive health strategies for diabetes as they pertain to eye health and vision care, to increase patient satisfaction with eye and vision care, to educate future health care providers in diabetic patient care, and to promote interdisciplinary collaboration in the care of patients with diabetes.
Data analysis: The primary outcome measures are patient knowledge of preventive health strategies for diabetes as they pertain to eye health and vision care and patient satisfaction with eye and vision care. A multinomial generalized estimating equation will be used to ascertain group differences.
Significance: It is anticipated that the results of the study shall be used to tailor the intervention to meet the needs of the local community and to seek external funding for future research. The ultimate goal of this project is to increase the proportion of persons with diabetes who have dilated fundus examinations at appropriate intervals and to reduce visual impairment due to diabetic retinopathy.