Patient ignorance is the main reason for treatment delay in primary rhegmatogenous retinal detachment in The Netherlands

F. Goezinne*, E.C. La Heij, T. Berendschot, N.G. Tahzib, L.S. Koetsier, J. Hoevenaars, A.T.A. Liem, A. Kijlstra, C.A.B. Webers, F. Hendrikse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aims Treatment delay of progressive vision-threatening conditions should be minimal. In this study, the treatment delay of patients with a rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) undergoing retinal detachment surgery was quantified, and causes for this delay were evaluated. Materials and methods Consecutive patients (n = 205) presenting with a primary RRD between June 2006 and June 2007 at the tertiary referral center (TRC) were interviewed. Five categories of delay were discerned in the following: 'patient delay,' 'general practitioner's delay,' 'referring ophthalmologist's delay,' 'delay at the TRC' and 'delay before surgery at the TRC'. In addition, overall delay was calculated. Results In total, 186 eyes were included in the analysis. Median overall delay between the patients' first symptoms and RRD surgery was 10 days. Almost 60% of this overall delay time was due to patient delay and the delay of the general practitioner. More than 50% of patients had a delay owing to unawareness of the symptoms. The median patient delay was significantly lower in patients with a vitreous hemorrhage and in patients with a history of a RRD in the fellow eye. Conclusions The major reason for patient delay with a RDD was the patients' unawareness and unfamiliarity with the symptoms of a retinal detachment. Eye (2009) 23, 1393-1399; doi:10.1038/eye.2008.272; published online 12 September 2008;
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1393-1399
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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