What factors influence uptake of retinal screening among young adults with type 2 diabetes? A qualitative study informed by the theoretical domains framework

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Abstract

Aims Young adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D, 18–39 years) face increased risk of vision loss from diabetic retinopathy (DR). Retinal screening is essential to detect DR, yet screening rates for this group are low and little is known about the underlying factors influencing this important behavior. Using the theoretical domains framework (TDF) to guide data collection and analysis, we explored screening barriers and facilitator, contrasting them with a comparator group of older adults with T2D (40 + years). Methods Thirty semi-structured telephone interviews (10 younger, 20 older adults) were conducted. Data were coded into TDF domains with salience identified by “frequency” of reference. Screening facilitators and barriers were systematically compared between groups. Results Although many screening facilitators and barriers were shared by younger and older adults, additional factors highly relevant to the former included: social comparison with others (‘social influences’); concern for the impact on the family unit, unrealistic optimism and perceived invulnerability (‘beliefs about consequences’); lack of time and financial resources (‘environmental context and resources’), and DR misconceptions (‘knowledge’). Conclusions This study demonstrated that young adult retinal screening behavior was influenced by additional social cognitive factors compared to older adults, providing a first-step evidence base for clinicians and other health professionals, and potential targets for future eye health and retinal screening interventions.

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Lake, A. J., Browne, J. L., Rees, G., & Speight, J. (2017). What factors influence uptake of retinal screening among young adults with type 2 diabetes? A qualitative study informed by the theoretical domains framework. Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications, 31(6), 997–1006. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2017.02.020

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