A Multi-Center Diabetes Eye Screening Study in Community Settings: Study Design and Methodology.

Journal Title: 
Publication Date: 
Mar 21, 2016

PURPOSE: Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20-74 years within the United States. The Innovative Network for Sight Research group (INSIGHT) designed the Diabetic Eye Screening Study (DESS) to examine the feasibility and short-term effectiveness of non-mydriatic diabetic retinopathy (DR) screening for adults with diabetes in community-based settings.

METHODS: Study enrollment began in December 2011 at four sites: an internal medicine clinic at a county hospital in Birmingham, Alabama; a Federally-qualified community healthcare center in Miami-Dade County, Florida; a university-affiliated outpatient pharmacy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and a medical home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. People 18 years or older with previously diagnosed diabetes were offered free DR screening using non-mydriatic retinal photography that was preceded by a brief questionnaire addressing demographic information and previous eye care use. Visual acuity was also measured for each eye. Images were evaluated at a telemedicine reading center by trained evaluators using the National Health System DR grading classification. Participants and their physicians were sent screening report results and telephoned for a follow-up survey 3 months post-screening to determine whether participants had sought follow-up comprehensive eye care and their experiences with the screening process.

RESULTS: Target enrollment at each site was a minimum of 500 persons. Three of the four sites met this enrollment goal.

CONCLUSION: The INSIGHT/DESS is intended to establish the feasibility and short-term effectiveness of DR screening using non-mydriatic retinal photography in persons with diabetes who seek services in community-based clinic and pharmacy settings.