Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 38, Issue 8, August 2009

Diabetic retinopathy screening in general practice A pilot study

Clare M Maher Craig Kennedy Peter Cranstoun Philip J Schluter Deborah A Askew Claire Jackson Geoffrey Spurling
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Early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy (DR) can prevent nearly all associated severe vision loss. We investigated the feasibility of DR screening using nonmydriatic cameras in two Australian primary care clinics.
General practice based DR screening was feasible and acceptable in the clinics studied, but photograph quality was an issue.
One hundred and fourteen patient participants provided 219 photographs. Two ophthalmologists read 158 photographs and deemed 61% (97/158) interpretable, but GPs tended to accept more photographs for interpretation. General practitioners’ diagnostic sensitivity and specificity was 87% and 95% respectively. Participating GPs were very positive about expanding their clinical role into DR screening.

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