Recruitment methods for community-based screening for diabetic retinopathy

S. J. Lee, C. A. McCarty, C. Sicari, P. M. Livingston, C. A. Harper, H. R. Taylor, J. E. Keeffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Regular screening of all people with diabetes is the most efficient and cost-effective way to detect early stages of diabetic retinopathy so that laser treatment can be performed at the optimal time. A major aim of the Program for the Early Detection of Diabetic Retinopathy was to increase compliance with guidelines for screening for diabetic retinopathy. This community-based screening program used non-mydriatic retinal photography and was initiated in four areas of Victoria, Australia from 1996-1998. Recruitment strategies included targeted mail-outs, provision of the program brochure in English and the main languages spoken in the areas and media promotion in ethnic newspapers and on ethnic radio stations. In Victoria, only 55% of the population with diabetes currently access eye care services at the recommended intervals. This program was able to increase compliance with guidelines to 70% among people with diabetes that had not had a recent eye examination. A total of 1,197 people with diabetes were screened for diabetic retinopathy. Of the 1,197 people who were screened, 620 (15% of the estimated number of people with diabetes) had not had their eyes examined in the past two years. This pilot study identified strategies to encourage people with diabetes to have their eyes examined at the recommended intervals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-218
Number of pages10
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, the Victorian Lions Foundation, Diabetes Australia – Victoria, the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, the Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia and the Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Research Institute. The authors are grateful for the support provided by the local Lions Clubs during the screening period, for the help with program promotion by community members and networks, and for the participation by people with diabetes.


  • Australia
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Health promotion
  • Recruitment
  • Screening


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