Spooner KL, Guinan G, Koller S, Hong T, Chang AA. Burden of Treatment Among Patients Undergoing Intravitreal Injections For Diabetic Macular Oedema In Australia. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2019 Sep 19;12:1913-1921.

Spooner KL, Guinan G, Koller S, Hong T, Chang AA. Burden of Treatment Among Patients Undergoing Intravitreal Injections For Diabetic Macular Oedema In Australia. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2019 Sep 19;12:1913-1921.

Abstract

Aim: The incidence and prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) in Australia is increasing. Thus, it is essential that practitioners appreciate the impending effect that increasing incidence of diabetes has on patients and the wider community. Accordingly, this study examines the humanistic burden of intravitreal injections for the treatment of diabetic macular oedema (DMO) among several health variables.

Methods: Survey data from a representative sample of Australian adults undergoing treatment for DMO were examined. Respondents participated via an online survey recruited by means of a national online consumer panel and the New South Wales and Victorian Diabetes Foundations. The online survey included questions relating to the humanistic burden of disease, such as the emotional and physical impact of intravitreal injection therapy; the practical impacts of injection therapy; and to identify potential improvements to treatment regimens.

Results: Sixty-five participants took part in the online survey. Of these, 49% had their most recent injection <1 month prior to completing the survey. The mean age was 52.5 years, with the majority of patients in full-time work. A substantial proportion of participants had several comorbidities, with a significantly high Charlson comorbidity index of 2.7. Participants reported the main burden of DMO care was the direct cost of medical treatment and the time burden demanded upon their carers. Results suggest that the overall burden is significant for those with diabetes and increases as additional complications of diabetes occur.

Conclusion: These results suggest that treatment strategies for DMO should consider clinical, humanistic and economic burden and patients should be educated on the roles of complications in disease outcomes. Less frequent treatment regimens could also reduce the economic burden and assist in decreasing the effect on health care resources, relevant to the escalation in the prevalence of diabetes.

Keywords: anti-VEGF; diabetes; intravitreal injections; macular oedema; patient perspective; quality of life.

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