Nizam M Darwesh, Mike Cook, Irshad Ahmad, Naeem M.
Healthcare Assistants` Knowledge & Understanding of the Impact of Eye Diseases associated with Diabetes.
Ophthalmol Update Jan ;15(4):379-83.

Aims and Objectives: This study aimed to investigate and to evaluate healthcare assistants` knowledge and understanding of the impact of eye diseases associated with diabetes. Material and Methods: The exploratory investigation was conducted at the Institute of Diabetes for Older People (IDOP) Putteridge Bury University of Bedfordshire UK. To achieve the objectives of the study 20 healthcare assistants were trained using the educational toolkit which was developed by the researcher. Their knowledge was tested before the training, immediately after the training and one month after the initial training. Following Kirkpatrick`s model, the skills and practical use of the educational toolkit was assessed using an open-ended qualitative approach. Results: The results found that many health care assistants had the perception that eye diseases including low vision in older people was a normal ageing process and could not be rectified. The results found that 82% of the HCAs had not had any training in the area, and more than half of the HCAs did not have sufficient knowledge of eye diseases associated with diabetes. After training, however, their knowledge was increased. The study also found that knowledge does decline over time, and therefore regular training for HCAs is required in order to maintain eye health and diabetes in older people, as well as improving their quality of life. Conclusion: Most of eye diseases associated with diabetes were preventable or treatable if detected in its early stages and could be avoided by simply wearing appropriate spectacles, or possible surgery.

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