Screening uptake in a well-established diabetic retinopathy screening program: the role of geographical access and deprivation

Graham P. Leese, Paul Boyle, Zhiqiang Feng, Alistair Emslie-Smith, John D. Ellis

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    OBJECTIVE - To identify criteria that affect uptake of diabetes retinal screening in a community screening program using mobile retinal digital photography units. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - Data from the regional diabetes population- based retinal screening program and regional ophthalmology laser database were linked to patient postal code (zip code) data. We used distance from retinal screening event, social deprivation scores, and demographic information to identify risk factors for nonattendance at a diabetes retinal screening event. Patients were subdivided into urban (> 125,000 population), other urban (3,000-125,000 population), or rural (<3,000 population) depending on where they lived. Data were collected from 2004 to 2006 inclusive and included 15,150 patients and 32,621 eye screening records. RESULTS - The mean ± SD age of patients was 63 ± 15 years, and 54% were male. Mean travel time to retinal screening event varied from 7.1 to 17.0 min. For 12% of missed appointments, patients were more likely to be younger, to have longer diabetes duration, to have poor A1C and blood pressure control, to be smokers, and to live in deprived areas. Poor attendance was not associated with sex or distance to retinal screening event. CONCLUSIONS - Social deprivation is strongly associated with poor attendance at retinal screening events. Time traveled to screening event was not associated with attendance in this study of a mobile retinal screening service, which visited general practitioner surgeries. This data can help inform population-based diabetes retinal screening programs about improving patient uptake. © 2008 by the American Diabetes Association.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2131-2135
    Number of pages5
    JournalDiabetes Care
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


    • Aged
    • Diabetic Retinopathy
    • Female
    • Humans
    • Male
    • Middle Aged
    • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
    • Rural Health
    • Scotland
    • Socioeconomic Factors
    • Urban Health
    • Vision Screening


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