Factors associated with regular eye examinations in people with diabetes: Results from the Victorian Population Health Survey

Mary Shaw, Andreas Müller, Ecosse Lamoureux, Chris Bullen, Jill Elizabeth Keeffe

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose. Although diabetes increases the risk of becoming visually impaired or blind, a large proportion of people with diabetes are not receiving the recommended eye care to detect and prevent retinopathy. Assessing a broad range of demographic, health behavior, and societal characteristics in relation to eye care utilization, the present study aims to increase knowledge about the potential impact of such factors on eye care utilization. Methods. In 2003, for the first time, the annual Victorian Population Health Survey (VPHS) incorporated various eye health-related questions. Approximately 12,600 primary approach letters were mailed to all eligible and randomly selected households. Using computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI), the interviewer selected the person aged 18 years or over with the most recent birthday within the contacted household. Results. The mean age of all 7500 participants was 47.7 years (range, 18-99 years). Six percent (n = 424) of all participants had diabetes, of whom 80% (n = 345) reported a visit to an eye care specialist within the last 2 years. People with diabetes were more likely to have had an eye test within the last 2 years if they had seen a healthcare provider or had one of various health checks, including checks not related to diabetes, within the same time. Conclusion. Results suggest that people who take an interest in their general health may also be more aware of the importance of eye examinations to avoid vision loss. Eye health promotion activities therefore need to broaden their reach to approach from outside the health sector, targeting people with diabetes who normally do not receive health checks. The importance of dilated eye examinations for people with diabetes needs to be further promoted for eye care providers. Copyright © 2006 American Academy of Optometry.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)96-101
    Number of pages5
    JournalOptometry and Vision Science
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006


    • Diabetes
    • Diabetic retinopathy
    • Eye care utilization
    • Retinopathy screening
    • Utilization barriers


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