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    ABSTRACT: Background:  Diabetes is an increasing problem in Myanmar with more than three million people affected. There are no data on awareness of diabetic retinopathy among the general practitioners (GPs) or diabetic population of Myanmar. This study aims to evaluate the awareness of diabetes-related eye disease among GPs and diabetic patients in Yangon, Myanmar.Design:  A cross-sectional survey.Methods:  From the Myanmar Medical Association Registry of 978 practicing GPs in Yangon, 200 were randomly selected and a structured questionnaire was sent to each. Each GP was asked to give a separate questionnaire to the first five diabetic patients who attended their practice.Results:  One hundred GPs and 480 patients returned the questionnaires. Although 99% of GPs were aware that diabetes could result in loss of vision, 49% never examined the fundi of their diabetic patients. Of the diabetic patients, 86% were aware that diabetes could damage their eyesight. Although 92% realized they should visit an ophthalmologist regularly, only 57% had seen an ophthalmologist. Patients who never attended school were less likely to visit an ophthalmologist than those with tertiary education (odds ratio 0.24; 95% confidence interval 0.09, 0.66). Patients with diabetes for less than 2 years were less likely to visit an ophthalmologist than those with diabetes for more than 10 years (odds ratio 0.21; 95% confidence interval 0.9, 0.44). There was no association between age, gender or work status and the likelihood of having seen an ophthalmologist.Conclusion:  Although both GPs and diabetic patients are aware of the need for regular fundal screening, just over half the patients had been screened. There exists a need for programmes in Myanmar to induce a behavioural change in diabetic patients with regards to screening examinations.
    Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 04/2008; 36(3):265 - 273. DOI:10.1111/j.1442-9071.2008.01724.x · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the awareness of eye complications and the prevalence of retinopathy, in the first visit to eye clinic, among type 2 diabetic patients attending a tertiary medical centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. An investigator-administered questionnaire was given to 137 patients with diabetes undergoing first time eye screening in the eye clinic. This was followed by a detailed fundus examination by a senior ophthalmologist to assess for presence of retinopathy. Almost 86% of respondents were aware of diabetic eye complications, especially in patients who had achieved tertiary educational level (96.3%). The majority of the patients (78.8%) were referred by their physicians and only 20.4% came on their own initiative. Many of the patients (43.8%) did not know how frequent they should go for an eye check-up and 72.3% did not know what treatments were available. Lack of understanding on diabetic eye diseases (68.6%) was the main barrier for most patients for not coming for eye screening earlier. Despite a high level of awareness, only 21.9% had recorded HbA1c level of <6.5% while 31.4% were under the erroneous assumption of having a good blood sugar control. A total of 29.2% had diabetic retinopathy in their first visit eye testing. In the present study, 29.2% of type 2 diabetic patients had retinopathy in their first time eye testing. Although the awareness of diabetic eye complications was high among first time eye screening patients, the appropriate eye care-seeking behavior was comparatively less and should be rectified to prevent the rise of this sight threatening eye disease.
    01/2011; 4(5):519-24. DOI:10.3980/j.issn.2222-3959.2011.05.12
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: Raising awareness of diabetic retinopathy (DR) was shown to be a key element for early diagnosis and treatment of this blinding disease. There is very limited data about the knowledge level, attitude, and behavior of diabetic patients regarding DR in Turkey. This study was planned to assess the awareness of DR and the utilization of eye care services among Turkish diabetic patients. Methods: Diabetic patients who were under the care of ophthalmologists, endocrinologists, and/or primary care physicians were administered a questionnaire in order to assess their awareness of diabetes and its ocular complications. Results: A total of 437 patients (51.8% female and 48.2% male) with a mean age of 55.2 ± 11.9 were included in the study. Of the 437 patients, 31.8% had not been educated about diabetes, 88.1% were aware that diabetes can affect the eyes, and 39.8% thought that diabetics with good glycaemic control might suffer from DR. While 86.7% thought that early diagnosis was possible in DR, 77.3% previously had eye examinations, and 41.9% stated that annual eye examinations were necessary for diabetics. An educational level of middle school or higher, duration of DM longer than 5 years, previous DM education, and recruitment from the university (ophthalmology department and endocrinology department) were associated with better awareness of DR. The independent factors associated with visiting an ophthalmologist on a regular basis were DM education, DM duration, and site of recruitment. Conclusion: Although most of the patients know that DM affects the eye, there is a lack of appropriate knowledge and behavior about the management of DR. The importance of better control of DM and regular eye examination in the prevention of DR should be emphasized.
    04/2013; 7(4). DOI:10.1016/j.pcd.2013.04.002