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Multicenter Study
. 2005 May;20(5):467-9.
doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2005.40073.x.

Causes of Preventable Visual Loss in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: An Evaluation of Suboptimally Timed Retinal Photocoagulation

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Free PMC article
Multicenter Study

Causes of Preventable Visual Loss in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: An Evaluation of Suboptimally Timed Retinal Photocoagulation

Rodney A Hayward et al. J Gen Intern Med. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

To examine circumstances surrounding suboptimally timed retinal photocoagulation, we reviewed the medical records of 238 patients who had received photocoagulation for diabetic retinopathy at one of three large referral centers. Forty-three percent (95% confidence interval, 36% to 49%) of cases were rated as probably or definitely suboptimally timed (i.e., patient could have benefited from earlier photocoagulation). About one third of cases were due to patients going many years without screening (> 3 years), and two thirds were associated with surveillance problems (failures to achieve close follow-up for known retinopathy). We found that suboptimal timing of photocoagulation was common but was not due to patients going between 13 and 36 months between screening visits, suggesting that current performance measures, which focus on annual retinal examinations, may be requiring wasteful care while not addressing a major quality problem.

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