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Available from: Amritpal Pali S Hungin
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ABSTRACT: Unconventional locations outwith general medical practice may prove opportunities for screening. The aim was to determine the resource implications and economics of a screening service using random capillary blood glucose (rCBG) tests to detect raised blood glucose levels in the "at risk" population attending high street optometry practices.
A screening service was implemented in optometry practices in North East England: the cost of the service and the implication of different screening strategies was estimated.
The cost of a screening test was £5.53-£11.20, depending on the screening strategy employed and who carried out the testing. Refining the screening strategy to target those ≥40 years with BMI of ≥25 kg/m(2) and/or family history of diabetes resulted in a cost per case referred to the GP of £14.38-£26.36. Implementing this strategy in half of optometric practices in England would have the potential to identify up to 150,000 new cases of diabetes and prediabetes a year.
Optometry practices provide an effective way of identifying people who would benefit from further investigation for diabetes. Effectiveness could be improved further by improving cooperation and communication between optometrists and medical practitioners.
Available from: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
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ABSTRACT: Unconventional settings, outside general medical practice, are an underutilised resource in the attempt to identify the large numbers of people with undiagnosed diabetes worldwide.
The study investigated the feasibility of using optometry practices (opticians) as a setting for a diabetes screening service.
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.
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.
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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