Diabetic Retinopathy Screening and Monitoring of Early Stage Disease in Australian General Practice: Tackling Preventable Blindness within a Chronic Care Model
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Introduction: Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the leading cause of preventable blindness in Australia. Up to 50% of people with proliferative DR who do not receive timely treatment will become legally blind within five years. Innovative and accessible screening, involving a variety of primary care providers, will become increasingly important if patients with diabetes are to receive optimal eye care. Method: An open controlled trial design was used. Five intervention practices in urban, regional, and rural Australia partnered with ophthalmologists via telehealth undertook DR screening and monitoring of type 2 diabetes patients and were compared with control practices undertaking usual care 2011–2014. Results: Recorded screening rates were 100% across intervention practices, compared with 22–53% in control practices. 31/577 (5%) of patients in the control practices were diagnosed with mild-moderate DR, of whom 9 (29%) had appropriate follow-up recorded. This was compared with 39/447 (9%) of patients in the intervention group, of whom 37 (95%) had appropriate follow-up recorded. Discussion and Conclusion: General practice-based DR screening via Annual Cycle of Care arrangements is effective across differing practice locations. It offers improved recording of screening outcomes for Australians with type 2 diabetes and better follow-up of those with screen abnormalities.
Journal of Diabetes Research
© 2016 Lisa Crossland et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Medical Physiology not elsewhere classified