Immigrants to Canada belonging to ethnocultural minority groups are at increased risk of developing diabetes and complications, including diabetic retinopathy, and they are also less likely to be screened and treated. Improved attendance to retinopathy screening (eye tests) has the potential to reduce permanent complications, including blindness.
This study aims to identify the barriers and enablers of attending diabetic retinopathy screening among ethnocultural minority immigrants living with diabetes in Quebec and Ontario, Canada, to inform the development of a behavior change intervention to improve diabetic retinopathy screening attendance.
The research question draws on the needs of patients and clinicians. Using an integrated knowledge translation approach, the research team includes clinicians, researchers, and patient partners who will contribute throughout the study to developing and reviewing materials and procedures, helping to recruit participants, and disseminating findings. Using a convenience snowball strategy, we will recruit participants from three target groups: South Asian and Chinese people, and French-speaking people of African descent. To better facilitate reaching these groups and support participant recruitment, we will partner with community organizations and clinics serving our target populations in Ontario and Quebec. Data will be collected using semistructured interviews, using topic guides developed in English and translated into French, Mandarin, Hindi, and Urdu, and conducted in those languages. Data collection and analysis will be structured according to the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF), which synthesizes predominant theories of behavior change into 14 domains covering key modifiable factors that may operate as barriers or enablers to attending eye screening. We will use directed content analysis to code barriers and enablers to TDF domains, then thematic analysis to define key themes within domains.
This study was approved for funding in December 2017, and the research ethics board approved the conduct of the study as of January 13, 2018. Data collection then began in April 2018. As of August 28, 2018, we have recruited 22 participants, and analysis is ongoing, with results expected to be published in 2020.
Findings from this study will inform the codevelopment of theory-informed, culturally- and linguistically-tailored interventions to support patients in attending retinopathy screening.

©Maman Joyce Dogba, Michael H Brent, Catherine Bach, Sarah Asad, Jeremy Grimshaw, Noah Ivers, France Légaré, Holly O Witteman, Janet Squires, Xiaoqin Wang, Olivera Sutakovic, Mary Zettl, Olivia Drescher, Zack van Allen, Nicola McCleary, Marie-Claude Tremblay, Stefanie Linklater, Justin Presseau. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (, 12.02.2020.