Published: 2021-09-27

Utilization of diabetic retinopathy screening among diabetic patients at a tertiary care hospital in Kerala, India

Sona Sabitha Kumar, Lathika Vasu Kamaladevi, Sruthi Mankara Valsan


Background: Diabetes is a major public health concern that affects nearly 463 million (9.3%) of global adult population. Diabetic retinopathy, which affects around 35% of all diabetic patients, is the fifth leading cause of preventable global blindness. This study was done to determine the status of diabetic retinopathy screening and the factors that influence its uptake among diabetic patients attending a tertiary care setting in Kerala, India.

Methods: 200 patients with diabetes mellitus on physician care were enrolled for a questionnaire-based survey which collected information on patient demographics, education, occupation, patient’s awareness of retinopathy, screening, diabetic blindness and their source of such knowledge.

Results: 83% were aware that diabetes can result in vision loss. 61% were aware that diabetic blindness is preventable. 42% patients were aware of screening options for retinopathy. The awareness of retinopathy screening was significantly associated (p=0.0001) only with duration of diabetes.

Conclusions: Awareness of diabetic retinopathy among diabetic patients in Kerala was sub optimal. Better patient education and use of mass media can increase awareness on diabetes retinopathy screening programs.



Awareness, Diabetic retinopathy screening, Tertiary care centre, Uptake

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