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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 252-255

Awareness and attitude of diabetic patients on diabetic eye complications in Port Harcourt, Nigeria


Department of Ophthalmology, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
G I Nathaniel
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1115-2613.278935

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BACKGROUND: Diabetes mellitus has significant ocular morbidities leading to visual impairment and blindness. Most patients are not aware that diabetes mellitus affect the eye with potential debilitating consequences. The study examines the awareness and attitude of diabetic patients attending the endocrinology clinic of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, on diabetic eye complications in order to examine factors that may be contributing to poor visual outcome. AIM: To assess the awareness and attitude of diabetic patients on diabetic eye complications in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. METHODS: This hospital-based cross-sectional study carried out between 25th March and 28th June,2011 had 225 adult diabetics attending the Endocrinology clinic of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt daily balloted for. From questionnaires and ocular examinations were recorded in the data sheets and analysed using the SPSS version 16 (2007). Simple statistics andcomparisons of associated variables were made using Chi-square. RESULTS: Of the 225 patients examined, 128 (56.9%) were aware that diabetes could affect the eye while 97 (43.1%) were not aware. Only a quarter (33, 25.8%) of them knew of specific eye complications of diabetes. There was no gender specific significant difference (p=0.195). Age and educational status significantly affected their awareness (p<0.005).The duration of diabetes did not have significant impact on the level of awareness of the patients (p=0.066). Only 103 (45.8%) of those examined had ever had previous eye examination of which 26 (26.3%) did so prior to their diagnosis with diabetes mellitus. Less than a quarter (22.3%) was referred by doctors for the eye examination. Age, sex, educational status and level of awareness did not significantly influence the number of those who had the eye examination while the duration of diabetes significant affect the number of those who had eye examination (p<0.005). CONCLUSION: The study underscores the need to improve patients' education on diabetic eye complications and encourage primary care physicians to refer diabetic patients for early ocular examination.


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