Screening for diabetes in unconventional locations: resource implications and economics of screening in optometry practices

Jen Howse, Steve Jones, A. Pali S. Hungin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Objectives

    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.
    Method

    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.
    Results

    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/m2 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.
    Conclusions

    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)193-199
    JournalHealth Policy
    Volume102
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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