Purpose of Review
Young adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D, 18–39 years) experience early-onset and rapid progression of diabetic retinopathy (DR), the leading cause of vision loss for working age adults. Despite this, uptake of retinal screening, the crucial first step in preventing vision loss from DR, is low. The aim of this review is to summarize the clinical and psychosocial factors affecting uptake of retinal screening.
Barriers include lack of diabetes-related symptoms, low personal DR risk perception, high rates of depression and diabetes-related distress, fatalism about inevitability of complications, time and financial constraints, disengagement with existing diabetes self-management services, and perceived stigma due to having a condition associated with older adults.
Young adults with T2D are an under-researched population who face an accumulation of barriers to retinal screening. Tailored interventions that address the needs, characteristics, and priorities of young adults with T2D are warranted.