Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a global health concern, the prevalence of which is predicted to increase in the coming years. Consequently, the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy (DR) is expected to rise. Therefore, identification of prevailing knowledge, attitudes and practice patterns (KAPP) of patients to address knowledge gaps and provide preventive education about DM and DR could reduce potentially sight-threatening complications. Our objectives were to assess KAPP of patients with DM and DR, factors influencing KAPP and impact of education on their KAPP.
Methods: A questionnaire based survey among diabetic patients in an eye clinic in Singapore. A response rate of 92.6% was achieved. Participants were administered a set of questions about KAPP on DM and DR before and after educating them about DR.
Results: Knowledge of DM and DR was noted in 57.0% and 29.0% of participants respectively. Good attitude and practice patterns were found in nearly 60% and above of the patients. Participants with more knowledge base had better attitude and practice patterns. Higher educational level, Indian ethnicity and longer duration of DM had a positive influence on KAPP. There was a statistically significant (p < 0.05) impact of education on KAPP among patients with DM and DR.
Conclusions: The knowledge, attitude and practice patterns among patients were variable. A low proportion of knowledge of DR was noted which increased to almost three times after education. There is a need to actively implement educational strategies among patients with DM and DR.