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Screening and identifying diabetes in optometric practice : a prospective study.

Howse, J.H. and Jones, S. and Hungin, A.P.S. (2011) 'Screening and identifying diabetes in optometric practice : a prospective study.', British journal of general practice., 61 (588). e436-e442.


Background: Unconventional settings, outside general medical practice, are an underutilised resource in the attempt to identify the large numbers of people with undiagnosed diabetes worldwide. Aim: The study investigated the feasibility of using optometry practices (opticians) as a setting for a diabetes screening service. Design and setting: Adults attending high street optometry practices in northern England who self-reported at least one risk factor for diabetes were offered a random capillary blood glucose (rCBG) test. Those with raised rCBG levels were asked to visit their GP for further investigations. Results: Of 1909 adults attending practices for sight tests, 1303 (68.2%) reported risk factors for diabetes, of whom 1002 (76.9%) had rCBG measurements taken. Of these, 318 (31.7%) were found to have a rCBG level of ≥6.1 mmol/l, a level where further investigations are recommended by Diabetes UK; 1.6% of previously undiagnosed individuals were diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes as a result of the service. Refining the number of risk factors for inclusion would have reduced those requiring screening by half and still have identified nearly 70% of the new cases of diabetes and pre-diabetes. Conclusion: Screening in optometric practices provides an efficient opportunity to screen at-risk individuals who do not present to conventional medical services, and is acceptable and appropriate. Optometrists represent a skilled worldwide resource that could provide a screening service. This service could be transferable to other settings.

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Record Created:01 Feb 2011 10:20
Last Modified:12 Aug 2015 13:43

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