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21-03-2012 | Diabetes | Article

Diabetics may accept less regular eye exams


Free abstract

MedWire News: The majority of Welsh patients with diabetes may be satisfied with retinopathy screening every 2-3 years, rather than annually, researchers report.

When Seow Yeo, from Bangor University in Wales, UK, and co-investigators asked 600 Welsh diabetic patients about acceptable retinopathy screening intervals, 85% stated that they desired annual screening.

However, 65% of the group reported that they would accept 2-3 yearly screening if "medical evidence showed it was safe."

Baseline data showed that survey participants had a mean diabetic history of 8.5 years and had received a mean of 3.2 eye screenings over the previous 5 years.

In all, 68% reported having annual retinopathy screenings and 56% had no history of positive findings on screening.

The researchers also asked participants which characteristics of a retinopathy screening service were important to them.

Yeo and team found that "length of time taken to receive results", "travel time to screening venue", "detailed information about the eye screening process", "explanation of results", and "eye screening at safe regular intervals" were the top five characteristics of concern to the patients.

For example, "explanation of results" and "eye screening at safe, regular intervals" were considered as extremely important factors by 73% and 67% of the group, respectively.

"The findings reported in this study could facilitate the design and improvement of existing eye screening services, and incorporate patients' views surrounding a healthcare service configuration in the National Health Service," conclude Yeo and colleagues in Diabetic Medicine.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Lauretta Ihonor