Feasibility of an intervention to improve attendance for diabetic retinopathy screening

Retinopathy is a serious and common condition affecting the sight of people with diabetes and it can cause blindness. It is preventable through screening and can be treated if found in time. However, the success of screening is dependent on people attending when invited. Studies show that a number of people with diabetes do not attend regular screening and experience barriers to accessing and using the service.

We will examine whether changes we introduce in general practice are a practical and acceptable way of increasing registration for screening by family doctors, and increasing screening visits among people with type 2 diabetes. There are five objectives:

To have healthcare professionals, researchers and patients agree on the best way to increase screening registration, consent and attendance.
To carry out a pilot study in which general practices are assigned to receive the intervention or be part of a control group (who wait 6 months) so that we can investigate the feasibility of delivering the intervention, how many practices can be recruited to take part and stay in the study, how many people are registered for and attend screening, and whether practices deliver the intervention as planned.
To interview general practice staff and patients with type 2 diabetes to explore their opinions on the way the intervention is delivered, the type of information we collect and the way it is collected.
To estimate the economic cost of delivering the intervention in primary care.
To decide whether it is appropriate to continue to a larger study that would test whether the intervention improves screening registration and attendance.

The impact of this research will be to establish an intervention to increase retinopathy screening attendance that is acceptable, feasible and financially viable in primary care in order to reduce the burden of preventable blindness associated with diabetes.


Award Date
24 February 2017
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Sheena McHugh
Host Institution
University College Cork
DIFA 2017