Knowledge, Attitudes And Practices On Diabetic Retinopathy Among Patients Attending The Diabetes Clinic At Kenyatta National Hospital.
Background: There is a paucity of data in the literature on knowledge, attitude and practices of diabetic patients with regards to diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes mellitus affects more than 170 million persons worldwide.1 Diabetic retinopathy accounts for 4.8% of the 37 million cases of blindness occurring worldwide.4 Currently, diabetic retinopathy is estimated to contribute about 3% of blindness in Kenya.5 In a study to assess the Awareness of diabetic retinopathy amongst diabetic patients at the Murtala Mohammed Hospital, Kano, Nigeria, the retinopathy awareness rate amongst the patients was quite high (84.3%).32 The study aimed at evaluating the awareness of diabetic retinopathy among the diabetic patients visiting diabetic clinic of KNH. Objectives: To establish the levels of knowledge, attitude and practice on diabetic retinopathy amongst the diabetic patients visiting diabetic clinic of KNH in Kenya. Design: Cross-sectional Hospital-Based study. Study Setting: Kenyatta National Hospital Out-Patient Diabetic Clinic Participants: Patients diagnosed with diabetes mellitus by the physicians at the diabetic clinic. Methodology: Questionnaires were use to assess knowledge, attitude and practice of these patients and the data collected was coded, entered and managed in a pre-designed Microsoft Access database. Data analysis was carried out using SPSS version 17.0. Results were presented in tables and graphs. Results: Two hundred and three (203) patients were interviewed. Females constituted 55.7% and the mean age was 54.8 years (±13.7 years). One hundred and ninety three (95%) of the 203 diabetic patients responded that diabetes affect the eye. Only 46 (22.7%) patients answered correctly what diabetic retinopathy was. Fifty seven percent of the 46 patients had been examined by an eye specialist. The ability of a patient to define correctly what DR was associated with age, level of education (P=0.001), marital status (p=0.049) and estimated monthly income(p=0.005). Conclusion: Majority of patients (64%) did not know what DR was. Most of the diabetic patients (69%) were only aware of poor blood control as a risk factor for DR. Seventy two percent of diabetic patients interviewed strongly agreed that blood sugar control is important in preventing DR. The proportion of diabetic patients interviewed that had been seen by eye specialist is low (57.6%). The age, marital status, level of education and economic status are the factors that were found to be significantly associated with knowledge on diabetic retinopathy.