Aim: To assess whether patients were receiving regular diabetic retinopathy screening and to examine factors influencing screening uptake.
Methods: A questionnaire covering demographics, diabetic medical history and the knowledge of and attitudes to diabetic retinopathy was administered to all adults who were due to attend diabetes clinics in two centres in Dublin, Ireland over two months in 2001/2002.
Results: Of the 209 people who completed the questionaire, 169 (81%) had a dilated fundal examination within the last year. The most significant predictor for receiving screening was a previous physician recommendation about the necessity of a regular eye examination. The main barriers to receiving adequate screening were lack of knowledge regarding the need for ocular examination and the effect of mydriasis in prohibiting driving.
Conclusions: It is essential that patients are fully aware of the need for a regular eye examination. Once a physician recommends this the screening rate improves.