Original Research

An investigation into diabetic patients’ knowl-edge of diabetes and its ocular complications in the Western Cape

P.C. Clarke-Farr
African Vision and Eye Health | South African Optometrist: Vol 65, No 4 | a268 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v65i4.268 | © 2006 P.C. Clarke-Farr | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 December 2006 | Published: 19 December 2006

About the author(s)

P.C. Clarke-Farr, Department of Ophthalmic Sciences, Faculty of Health and Wellness Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, PO Box 652, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa

Full Text:



This paper presents the findings of a study which  evaluated  the  knowledge  of  a  sample of diabetic patients about their disease and its ocular complications. A comprehensive ques-tionnaire  was  provided  to  diabetic  patients in  the  Cape  Town  metropolitan  district  and its  surrounds.  Specifically,  the  questionnaire aimed  to  determine  the  patient’s  knowledge of  diabetes,  their  knowledge  of  the  ocular complications of diabetes, the options for its management and treatment as well as a section considering  other  general  information  relat-ing  to  diabetes  and  its  ocular  complications. Their subject knowledge about diabetes and its ocular complications was relatively limited as only 42% of respondents knew about the exis-tence  of  two  types  of  diabetes. Twenty  nine percent of respondents believed that diabetes would not affect their eyes. Although 76% of the patients felt it very important to measure their blood sugar and 80% rated blood sugar control  as  very  important,  only  37%  of  the respondents  measured  their  blood  sugar  on a  daily  basis. A  particular  concern  was  that although  96%  of  the  respondents  felt  that  it was important to have their eyes checked regu-larly, only 30% of the respondents stated that they had actually had their eyes checked every year. The results of this investigation support the need for diabetic patients to receive better patient education about diabetes and its ocular complications. Furthermore, attention needs to be paid to expanding patient access to diabetic screenings and ocular examinations in order to manage this condition effectively.


Community health centres, blood sugar, dia-betes mellitus, diabetes education, diabetic reti-nopathy, diet, health care worker, insulin, ocular complications of diabetes


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Crossref Citations

1. Diabetic retinopathy and retinal screening awareness amongst female diabetic patients at a day hospital diabetic clinic in Cape Town, South Africa
Nomfundo F. Mkhombe, Peter Clarke-Farr
African Vision and Eye Health  vol: 80  issue: 1  year: 2021  
doi: 10.4102/aveh.v80i1.614