Knowledge, attitudes and eye health-seeking behaviours in a population-based sample of people with diabetes in rural China

Tingting Chen, Ling Jin, Wenhui Zhu, Congyao Wang, Guoshan Zhang, Xiuqin Wang, Jun Wang, Ke Yang, Gillian M. Cochrane, Ecosse Luc Lamoureux, David S. Friedman, Suzanne Gilbert, Van C. Lansingh, Serge Resnikoff, Jialiang Zhao, Baixiang Xiao, Mingguang He, Nathan Congdon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims To assess knowledge of diabetes and acceptance of eye care among people with diabetes in rural China, to improve service uptake. Methods Population-based study of people in Guangdong, China, with glycosylated haemoglobin A1c≥6.5% and/or known history of diabetes. Between August and November 2014, participants answered a questionnaire (based on Delphi process/previous focus groups) on medical history, demographic characteristics, self-rated health and vision, knowledge about diabetes and diabetic retinopathy, quality of local healthcare, barriers to treatment, likely acceptance of eye exams and treatment, and interventions rated most likely to improve service uptake. Presenting visual acuity was assessed, fundus photography performed and images graded by trained graders. Potential predictors of accepting care were evaluated and confounders adjusted for using logistic regression. Results A total of 562 people (9.6% (256/5825), mean age 66.2±9.84 years, 207 (36.8%) men) had diabetes, 118 (22.3%) previously diagnosed. € Very likely' or € likely' acceptance of laser treatment (140/530=26.4%) was lower than for eye exams (317/530=59.8%, p<0.001). Predictors of accepting both exams and laser included younger age (p<.001) and prior awareness of diabetes diagnosis (p=0.004 and p=0.035, respectively). The leading barrier to receiving diabetes treatment was unawareness of diagnosis (409/454, 97.2%), while interventions rated most likely to improve acceptance of eye exams included reimbursement of travel costs (387/562, 73.0%), video or other health education (359/562, 67.7%) and phone call reminders (346/562, 65.3%). Conclusions Improving diagnosis of diabetes, along with incentives, education and communication strategies, is most likely to enhance poor acceptance of diabetic eye care in this setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)806-811
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Child health (paediatrics)
  • Clinical Trial
  • Contact lens
  • Epidemiology
  • Eye (Globe)
  • Glaucoma
  • Infection
  • Intraocular pressure
  • Lens and zonules
  • Low vision aid
  • Medical Education
  • Optic Nerve
  • Public health
  • Rehabilitation
  • Retina
  • Vision
  • Visual perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Ophthalmology


Dive into the research topics of 'Knowledge, attitudes and eye health-seeking behaviours in a population-based sample of people with diabetes in rural China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this