Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship of periodic eye examinations with health literacy in Diabetes Mellitus (DM) patients.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was designed. Patients with a diagnosis of DM registered at the Family Health Center were invited to participate. Of the 198 registered DM patients, 101 agreed to participate in the study (response rate: 51%). Sociodemographic characteristics and physical examination findings of the patients were recorded. Their knowledge about diabetes follow-up was questioned. The patients were asked the Newest Vital Sign (NVS) and European Health Literacy Survey Questionnaire Short Form (HLS-EU-Q16) questions and the answers were recorded.
Results: HLS-EU-Q16 showed a significant difference with the eye examination of patients with DM (p=0.041). The NVS scale showed a significant difference with DM control (p=0.032), DM diet (p=0.008), and eye examination (p=0.002). And, NVS also showed a significant difference with eye examination (p=0.015) in the last 1 year.
Conclusions: Participation in the study was limited. According to the NVS results from the health literacy scales, the condition of DM patients having disease control and eye check-ups was positively associated with health literacy. We think that improving health literacy of DM patients may have a positive effect on disease control and prevention of complications.