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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 93-97

A retrieval system for patients with avoidable blindness due to diabetic retinopathy who do not present for ophthalmic assessment in Oman

Department of Non-communicable Disease Control, Eye and Ear Health Care, Ministry of Health, Oman

Correspondence Address:
Rajiv Khandekar
Department of Non Communicable Disease Control, Eye and Ear Health Care, Director General of Health Affairs, Ministry of Health, Muscat, POB: 393, Pin: 100
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-9233.80694

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Background : Many patients with diabetes do not present for eye examinations, foregoing the recommended management for diabetic eye care. Proactive steps are being taken in Oman to retrieve defaulters (patients who do not present or "no-show") with Sight Threatening Diabetic Retinopathy (STDR). We present the outcomes of the defaulter retrieval system in five regions of Oman in 2009. Materials and Methods : Ophthalmologists examine eyes periodically, family physicians focus on primary prevention of Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) and medical retina specialists manage DR in Oman. A person with proliferative stage of DR (PDR) and/or Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) in either eye is considered as STDR and is registered at regional hospitals. The eye care staff identify the defaulters and the hospital staff help them retrieve the defaulters. The reminder of reappointment is sent using the text messages on telephone. The glycemic control of STDR cases was also noted in Nizwa Hospital. Results : We registered 654 STDR cases, of which 494 (75%) were defaulters. Lack of awareness, transport, absence of a decision maker, and fear of laser treatment were the main causes for defaulting. We successfully retrieved 328 (66.4%) defaulters. The retrieval rates among male and female patients were 51.2% and 82%, respectively. The retrieval varied by region. In Nizwa hospital, 114 of 131 STDR cases (85%) had poor glycemic control. Conclusion : Defaulter retrieval system could help healthcare providers to identify and motivate patients with STDR towards better compliance. Primary prevention measures among STDR cases were poor and need further focus.

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