The prevalence of diabetes in Zimbabwe has increased significantly in the past three decades posing serious challenges to the provision of care and prevention of disabling co-morbidities in an already disadvantaged healthcare setting. Studies conducted in Zimbabwe have reported prevalence of 16% to 38%. Diabetic retinopathy, a major complication of diabetes, is a leading cause of blindness globally and of an estimated 285 million people with diabetes worldwide approximately 33.3% have signs of diabetic retinopathy and of these a further 33.3% have vision threatening diabetic retinopathy. The purpose of this study is to examine uptake of screening for diabetic retinopathy and associated factors among adults aged 18-65 years with diabetes at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals. This was a cross sectional analytical study on a random sample of 83 adults aged 18-65 years with diabetes mellitus. The study was conducted according to the requirements of the Declaration of Helsinki. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data in strict privacy and confidentiality. Uptake of screening was 53%. The chi-square test was done to analyse demographic factors associated with uptake of screening. Male gender and being married were significantly associated with higher uptake of screening (p=0.029 and p=0.037 respectively). Logistic regression was done to determine predictors of uptake of screening services for diabetic retinopathy. On logistic regression, gender (OR=0.241, 95% CI [0.079 – 0.735]) and misinformation (OR=0.280, 95% CI [0.081 – 0.974]) were significant predictors of uptake of screening. Uptake of diabetic retinopathy screening was sub-optimal. Gender and misinformation were significant barriers to uptake of screening. There is need to address barriers to uptake of retinopathy screening to promote timely identification and management of complications in people with diabetes mellitus.
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