Educational messages aimed at health professionals have stressed the importance of regular eye examinations for people with diabetes and the value of early treatment. To investigate whether the messages need to be expanded or tailored in a specific way, we asked people with diabetes (N=37) to describe their reactions to the diagnosis of proliferative diabetic retinopathy and the factors that influenced their decision to seek treatment. The findings reaffirm the importance of the physician's recommendation in pursuing treatment. Furthermore, a constructive response (eg, ‘knew it had to be taken care of’) to the diagnosis was associated with prior knowledge of the consequences of proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Minimal racial and gender differences were observed. White women reported being influenced by the experiences of others, and African Americans reported being influenced by the diabetes educator. These findings emphasize the importance of providing patient education not only following a diagnosis but also in anticipation of probable complications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Health Professions (miscellaneous)