AbstractThe aim of this study was to assess the ability of diabetic patients to interpret visually‐read blood glucose strips and to assess the value of a simple test to identify patients with colour vision defects who may be unable to correctly interpret these strips. The simplified Colour Vision Test identified patients suffering from red‐green, blue yellow or mixed colour vision defects. Some patients who exhibited red‐green colour vision deficiency were unable to interpret Glucostix correctly, whereas many patients exhibiting a mixed deficiency had difficulty in interpreting both Glucostix and BM‐Test‐Glycemie 1–44 strips. Patients with either no detectable colour vision defect or blue‐yellow colour vision deficiency had no clinically significant difficulty in interpreting either set of strips. Therefore, the use of the Simplified Colour Vision Test has been shown to identify groups of patients with colour vision defects who may be unable to use blood glucose strips. Glucostix should not be given to patients who are found to be red‐green colour blind, and the use of visually‐read blood glucose strips should be avoided altogether in patients with a mixed colour vision deficiency.

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