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Am J Public Health. 1994 Oct;84(10):1669-71.

Patient adherence to guidelines for diabetes eye care: results from the diabetic eye disease follow-up study.

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Division of Diabetes Translation, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga. 30341-3724.


Early detection and treatment of diabetic eye disease can prevent blindness, yet many persons with diabetes lack regular eye care. This study followed 569 people with diabetes participating in blindness prevention programs during 1985 through 1987; it was found that 35% of subjects received dilated eye examinations before entering the programs, in comparison with 60% afterward. About 85% of participants referred for proliferative retinopathy treatment began such treatment, and, of these, 85% completed treatment. A lack of knowledge about the disease and limited finances were primary reasons for nonadherence. To improve the effectiveness of prevention programs, eye care providers and program staff must strive to eliminate these educational and financial barriers.

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