Diabetic retinopathy (DR) affects 8.2% of the Irish population with type 2 diabetes over 50 years and is one of the leading causes of blindness among working-age adults. Regular diabetic retinopathy screening (DRS) can reduce the risk of sight loss. In 2013, the new national screening programme (RetinaScreen) was introduced in Ireland. Maximising DRS uptake (consent to participate in the programme attendance once invited) is a priority, therefore it is important to identify characteristics which determine DRS uptake among those with diabetes in Ireland. We report uptake in an Irish primary care population during the initial phase of implementation of RetinaScreen and investigate factors which predict consenting to participate in the programme.   In two primary care practices, data were extracted from records of people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2) aged ≥18 years who were eligible to participate in RetinaScreen between November 2013 and August 2015. Records were checked for a RetinaScreen letter. RetinaScreen were contacted to establish the status of those without a letter on file. Multivariable Poisson regression was used to examine associations between socio-demographic variables and consenting. Adjusted incident rate ratios (IRR) with 95% CI were generated as a measure of association. Of 722 people with diabetes, one fifth (n=141) were not registered with RetinaScreen. Of 582 who were registered, 63% (n=365) had participated in screening. Most people who consented subsequently attended (n=365/382, 96%). People who had attended another retinopathy screening service were less likely to consent (IRR 0.65 [95%CI 0.5-0.8]; p<0.001). Other predictors were not significantly associated with consent. Over one third of people eligible to participate in RetinaScreen had not consented. Research is needed to understand barriers and enablers of DRS uptake in the Irish context. Implementing strategies to improve DRS uptake (consent attendance) should be a priority.
Copyright: © 2019 Tracey M et al.