Document Type

Article

Department

Internal Medicine (East Africa)

Abstract

Purpose: To assess patient preference for diabetic retinopathy (DR) screening with teleophthalmology or face-to-face ophthalmologist evaluation in Nairobi, Kenya.

Materials and Methods: Fifty seven diabetic patients from a one-stop multidisciplinary diabetic clinic (consisting of a diabetologist, nurse educator, foot specialist, nutritionist, ophthalmologist, and neurologist) in Nairobi, Kenya were included if they had undergone both a teleophthalmology (stereoscopic digital retinal photographs graded by an ophthalmologist remotely) and a traditional clinical screening exam (face to face examination). A structured questionnaire with a 5-point Likert scale was developed in both English and Swahili. The questionnaire was administered over the telephone. Ten questions were used to compare patient experience and preferences between teleophthalmology and a traditional clinical examination for DR. A mean score >3.25 on the Likert scale was considered favourable. Results: Successfully telephone contact was possible for 26 (58% male, 42% females) of the 57 patients. The mean ages of the male and female patients were 52.4 and 46.5 years respectively. Patients were satisfied with their teleophthalmology examination (mean 4.15 ± 0.97). Patients preferred the teleophthalmology option for future screenings (mean 3.42 ± 1.52). This preference was driven primarily by convenience, reduced examination time, and being able to visualize their own retina.

Conclusion: In this study, diabetic patients preferred a teleophthalmology based screening over a traditional ophthalmologist-based screening. The use of teleophthalmology in Africa warrants further study and has the potential to become the screening model of choice. Cost effectiveness in comparison to an ophthalmologist-based screening also requires evaluation.

Publication

Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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