Use of focus groups to identify health promotion strategies for the early detection of diabetic retinopathy

P. M. Livingston, C. A. McCarty, C. A. Wood, A. C. Harper, J. E. Keeffe, H. R. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: People with diabetes do not regularly utilise eye services for the early prevention of vision loss due to diabetic eye disease. A community-based screening program has been initiated in Victoria to address this issue. To encourage people to take preventive eye health care measures, the most effective health promotion strategies were identified. Methods: Thirty-three health professionals were invited to attend focus groups. A sample of 35 people with diabetes was approached by their GPs or diabetes educators because of their motivation to participate in diabetes activities. Each group consisted of 10 members. Discussion points included the type of education messages available to people with diabetes; use of eye services among the participants with diabetes; and strategies required promoting the screening service. Results: Five focus groups were conducted. The discussions highlighted that a great deal could be achieved by using local community networks to promote the benefits of early detection of diabetic retinopathy and local screening program. The group members recommended that particular attention be directed to general practitioners and their distribution of materials to patients. Key issues for planning and implementing the program were highlighted. The groups urged development of strategies to encourage people with diabetes in rural Victoria to participate in a program for the early detection of diabetic retinopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-222
Number of pages3
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1998


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