Eye complications: Involving patients in their own self-management
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the leading cause of sight loss in people aged 20-69 years. Diminished visual function related to DR, is associated with psychological morbidity and has negative socioeconomic consequences costs for individuals, their families and wider society. National clinical guidelines recommend that patients are given individual feedback on their eye results alongside enhanced metabolic management to reduce risks disease progression. Previous work conducted in patients with mild-moderate diabetic maculopathy, suggest that feedback is often not presented in a manner that is easily accessible and/or understood by the patient. Therefore, the patient maybe left ill-equipped to manage their condition, as they lack the basic understanding of the disease process and the consequences of poor management. Previous research using retinal images in patients’ diabetes consultation as a visual educational tool to aid patients understanding of diabetes and the importance of controlling metabolic factors, have reported significantly improved HbA1c levels in patients exposed to the education tool. The RetinaRisk® digital application was developed following extensive research on diabetic retinopathy and risk factors for progression (duration of diabetes, gender, blood glucose levels, Hb1Ac and the type of diabetes). The RetinaRisk® app produces an individualised risk assessment for the development of sight-threatening diabetic eye disease in the next 1 year using personalised data of known risk factors.
- Importance of including ophthalmic outcomes as part of the patient review.
- Improving patient self-management through behaviour change.