Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the leading cause of visual loss in people aged 30 to 69 years. Most authorities
recommend screening of the ocular fundus to prevent severe visual loss. The increasing incidence of diabetes mellitus and
fewer ophthalmologists in many countries is leading to inadequate screening. Establishing an adequate system for DR
screening is a complex issue and represents a challenge for most health authorities. To alleviate the burden of DR screening
for most health systems, some investigators have suggested that general practitioners (GPs) perform the initial screenings.
The aim of this article was to review the current status of DR screening performed by GPs using non-mydriatic retinography.
The five studies analyzed in this review indicated that after adequate training GPs can be effective and reliable
screeners of DR using non-mydriatic retinography. Including GPs in the screening model would be a useful way to alleviate
the increasing demands of ophthalmic care resulting from the increased prevalence of diabetes mellitus. In addition,
GPs would have full control of the diabetic process, which could bolster their motivation and confidence in other areas of
diabetes care and medical practice.
Keywords: Diabetic retinopathy screening, General practitioners, Non-mydriatic retinography
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