Study methodology and diabetes control in patients from the non-English diabetes management project (NEDMP)

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To describe the clinical characteristics of non–English speaking patients from the Diabetes Management Project (NEDMP), and compare their diabetes management and severity of diabetic retinopathy (DR) with the English-speaking DMP sample (EDMP).


A prospective study was conducted on non-English speaking adults with diabetes who attended the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital.


136 (90.1%) non-English speaking adults were assessed, with a mean age of 72.2 years (range: 50-88 years); 74 (54.4%) were male.


Participants completed interviewer-administered questionnaires and underwent visual acuity, fundus photography, optical coherence tomography, biochemistry and anthropometric measurements. The EDMP assessed 609 patients in 2009 using a similar protocol.

Main Outcome Measures

Type and duration of diabetes, diabetes control and diabetic retinopathy.


A total of 127 (93.4%) and 8 (5.9%) participants reported having type 2 and type 1 diabetes, respectively, with a median (IQR) duration of 17 (14) years. The proportion of patients with poor diabetes control (HbA1c ≥ 7%) in the NEDMP was similar to the EDMP (64.0% and 68.2%, respectively; P = 0.411). A significantly higher proportion of patients with DR in the NEDMP were found to have poor diabetes control (HbA1c ≥ 7%) compared to those without DR (80.9% vs. 50.0%, P = 0.003). Almost two-thirds of NEDMP patients (74/118) had DR and 23% (27/115) had diabetic macular edema. The prevalence of DR was similar between the NEDMP and EDMP studies, ranging from 25-30% and 28-29%.


The clinical characteristics, diabetes control, and DR severity of English and non-English-speaking patients were similar. The high proportion of poor diabetes management in non-English speaking patients with DR suggests educational and behavioural interventions to improve glycaemic control are warranted.

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