Original Research

Prevalence of eye pathology in a group of diabetic patients at National District Hospital Outpatient Department in Bloemfontein, South Africa

Joleen P. Cairncross, Wilhelm J. Steinberg, Mathys J. Labuschagne
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 9, No 1 | a1440 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v9i1.1440 | © 2017 Joleen P. Cairncross, Wilhelm J. Steinberg, Mathys J. Labuschagne | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 February 2017 | Published: 27 September 2017

About the author(s)

Joleen P. Cairncross, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, South Africa
Wilhelm J. Steinberg, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, South Africa
Mathys J. Labuschagne, Clinical Simulation and Skills Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Diabetic retinopathy is the third most common cause of blindness after cataracts and glaucoma in South Africa. Primary healthcare interventions providing eye care services play an important role in preventing complications.
Aim: To determine the prevalence of eye pathology in a group of diabetic patients at National District Hospital by screening for diabetes-associated ocular pathology.
Setting: Outpatients Department run by Department of Family Medicine at National District Hospital in Bloemfontein from June to July 2014.
Methods: Interviews were used to collect information regarding diabetic patients’ history of diabetes mellitus and if and when previous diabetic retinopathy screening was performed. Visual acuity was assessed, intra-ocular pressure measured and a non-mydriatic digital fundus camera used to screen for retinal pathology.
Results: During the last year, only 4.5% of patients had their vision checked with a Snellen chart, and 16.5% were examined with an ophthalmoscope. Since diagnosis of diabetes, only 15.5% of patients were referred to an ophthalmologist. Patient referral was needed for 87 (42.9%) cases for refractive disorders, 37 (18.2%) for suspected glaucoma, 30 (14.8%) for cataracts, and 22 (10.8%) for diabetic retinopathy.
Conclusion: This study confirms that glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy are prevalent eye conditions among diabetic patients. Offering eye screening at primary healthcare level may contribute to early detection of eye pathology and timeous referral for sight-saving treatment.

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Crossref Citations

1. Diabetes in developing countries
Anoop Misra, Hema Gopalan, Ranil Jayawardena, Andrew P. Hills, Mario Soares, Alfredo A. Reza‐Albarrán, Kaushik L. Ramaiya
Journal of Diabetes  vol: 11  issue: 7  first page: 522  year: 2019  
doi: 10.1111/1753-0407.12913