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Taiwan J Ophthalmol. 2019 Sep 12;9(3):185-193. doi: 10.4103/tjo.tjo_30_18. eCollection 2019 Jul-Sep.

Factors associated with retinal screening among patients with diabetes in Taiwan.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Shin-Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.
Department of Public Health Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, USA.
Department of Health-Business Administration, School of Nursing, Fooyin University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Department of Health Services Policy and Management, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA.



The purpose of this study is to explore the factors associated with having a diabetic retinopathy exam (DRE) during the past 2 years among patients with diabetes.


Patients visiting the eye clinic at Shin-Kong Memorial Hospital in Taipei were enrolled in this study from January to June 2009. A total of 313 patients participated in this study. Excluding patients with missing responses for more than three questions (38) yielded a final sample of 275 participants. Chi-square and Mann-Whitney U-tests were used for bivariate analysis. Multivariable logistic regression examined factors associated with having a DRE controlling for demographic and health factors.


Although 83% of participants said that their physician suggested DRE, only 60% were screened during the past 2 years. In response to the question about why patients did not seek a DRE exam, 43.2% reported that they did not know having this exam was necessary. In adjusted results, receiving information about the relationship between diabetes and retinopathy from medical staff and believing that diabetes could damage the vision were associated with having a DRE in the past 2 years (both P < 0.05).


Although most patients indicated that their physician suggested the need for eye care, a substantial percentage of patients with diabetes were not aware of the need for a regular DRE. Information about the relationship between diabetes and retinopathy and concerns about damage to vision were associated with greater likelihood of seeking a DRE. These factors should be considered to promote DR screening.


Diabetes mellitus; diabetic retinopathy; dilated eye exam; patient education; physician communication

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interests of this paper.

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