First Author: A.Mehrotra INDIA
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A pilot study to assess the impact of visual-feedback assisted counseling on behavioral outcomes in patients with diabetic retinopathy
Optimal diabetes management is known to reduce the risk and progression of diabetic retinopathy. Retinal imaging is now being used to monitor patients with diabetic retinopathy. Using fundus pictures to explain the disease severity to patients could help motivate them towards a positive health behavior.
Sixty participants with non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy and suboptimal HbA1c (> 53 mmol/mol; > 7%) were randomized to receive personal digital images assisted counseling or to a control group of counseling without access to digital images. At baseline and 6-month follow-up, HbA1c, self-care activities and diabetes-related distress were assessed.
Relative to the control group, the intervention group showed a significant positive improvement in HbA1c at the 6 month follow-up (–0.7% vs. +0.3%, P < 0.01), as well as higher motivation levels to improve blood glucose management (P < 0.05).
This small-scale pilot study provides initial evidence that feedback with an individual’s retinal image could become a potential practical strategy for clinicians to improve outcomes in patients with diabetic retinopathy in non-target compliant patients. A more detailed and intensive randomized controlled trial can confirm the above findings and determine the most optimal use of visual feedback to produce long-term consistent effects.