Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in working-class Americans and is found in about one-third of diabetic patients. Traditionally, primary care providers (PCPs) refer patients to an ophthalmologist to be evaluated for diabetic retinopathy. There can be an access disparity that prevents many from seeking evaluation. Telehealth can potentially help increase screening rates and improve patient outcomes with diabetic retinopathy. Telehealth has already been proven to be clinically effective.
A comprehensive search of the literature was conducted using Scopus and PubMed databases using the following search terms: Diabetes, Retinopathy, Telemedicine, Telehealth, Referral, Satisfaction, Adherence, Compliance, and Benefits. A total of 8 articles met the inclusion criteria.The articles reported that patients were satisfied with the experience of telehealth and patients received screenings at a higher rate in the telehealth group compared to the in-person group.In addition, the majority of patients were willing to participate and felt encouraged to ask questions about diabetic retinopathy, thus increasing doctor-patient conversations and awareness.
This review brings together current evidence regarding patient outcomes of a diabetic retinopathy telehealth program compared to the traditional referral method Diabetic telehealth programs opens up the opportunity for more patients to be screened and furthermore brings awareness to diabetic retinopathy
Tull, MPH(c), Gabrielle; Frasso, PhD, CPH, Rosemary; and Leader, DrPH, MPH, Amy, "Do Diabetic Retinopathy Telehealth Programs Improve Patient Outcomes?" (2020). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 354.