Screening for diabetic retinopathy in remote Australia: a program description and evaluation of a devolved model

Aust J Rural Health. 2003 Oct;11(5):224-30.


Objectives: To describe the diabetic retinopathy screening program operating in the Kimberley and evaluate recruitment into and the quality and timeliness of, the screening procedure.

Method: Review of the documents relating to the Kimberley diabetic retinopathy screening program and analysis of Kimberley diabetic retinopathy screening database.

Results: The Kimberley Public Health Unit developed and maintains a program of training, credentialing and ongoing professional development for retinal camera practitioners and a Kimberley-wide database of retinal photographs taken for diabetic retinopathy screening. As a result of this program, diabetic retinopathy screening is available in or close to most diabetics' home towns/communities and 58% had undergone retinopathy screening in the preceding 2 years. Over 90% of sets of photographs were of excellent or adequate quality. There was a positive relationship between credentialing and photograph quality and timeliness of photographs being sent away for reporting.

Conclusions: Quality diabetic retinopathy screening, at prevalences comparable to, or higher than, other urban and rural populations, can be achieved in a remote area.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms
  • Child
  • Decision Trees
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / diagnosis*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medically Underserved Area
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmoscopy
  • Photography
  • Prevalence
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Residence Characteristics / statistics & numerical data
  • Rural Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Vision Screening / organization & administration*
  • Western Australia / epidemiology