Original Research

Diabetic patients’ awareness regarding diabetes mellitus and its ocular complications at the National District Hospital in Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa

Elzana Kempen, Mariette Nel, Sherazadh Hatia, Naledi Khanya, Lerato Matsabu, Xolani Nyathela
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 76, No 1 | a380 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v76i1.380 | © 2017 Elzana Kempen, Mariette Nel, Sherazadh Hatia, Naledi Khanya, Lerato Matsabu, Xolani Nyathela | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 December 2016 | Published: 19 May 2017

About the author(s)

Elzana Kempen, Department of Optometry, University of the Free State, South Africa
Mariette Nel, Department of Biostatistics, University of the Free State, South Africa
Sherazadh Hatia, Department of Optometry, University of the Free State, South Africa
Naledi Khanya, Department of Optometry, University of the Free State, South Africa
Lerato Matsabu, Department of Optometry, University of the Free State, South Africa
Xolani Nyathela, Department of Optometry, University of the Free State, South Africa


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Abstract

Introduction: Globally, the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) and obesity is rapidly increasing. DM and, consequently, diabetic retinopathy (DR) are serious issues that all countries around the world are facing. This study originated from a need to assess whether diabetic patients at the Outpatient Department at the National District Hospital in Bloemfontein have knowledge about their disease and are aware of the possible ocular complications.

Methods: A descriptive study on a single group of participants was conducted at the Outpatient Department at National District Hospital in Bloemfontein. Non-random judgemental sampling was used to select participants who were diagnosed with diabetes. All participants were above the age of 18 and gave signed consent after reading through the information document provided.

Results: The participants (n = 70) were mainly women (72%) and elderly (> 40 years). Age groups represented were 40 years (7.1%), 40–49 years (12.9%), 50–59 years (32.9%), 60–69 years (28.6%) and ≥ 70 years (18.56%). Almost 82% of the participants were aware that DM can cause blindness and 85.7% were aware of cataracts as a possible complication of DM. Almost half (47.1%) were not aware that DM can cause DR and more than half (52.9%) were unaware that DM can cause increased intraocular pressure (IOP).

Conclusion: These results highlight the need for further education of diabetic patients regarding the relationship between DM and the ocular complications.


Keywords

diabetes mellitus; diabetic retinopathy; cataracts; intraocular pressure; descriptive study; non-judgmental sampling

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