A multi-center diabetes eye screening study in community settings: Study design and methodology

Ann P. Murchison, David S. Friedman, Emily W. Gower, Julia A. Haller, Byron L. Lam, David J. Lee, Gerald Mcgwin, Cynthia Owsley, Jinan Saaddine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20-74 years within the United States. The Innovative Network for Sight Research group (INSIGHT) designed the Diabetic Eye Screening Study (DESS) to examine the feasibility and short-term effectiveness of non-mydriatic diabetic retinopathy (DR) screening for adults with diabetes in community-based settings.Methods: Study enrollment began in December 2011 at four sites: an internal medicine clinic at a county hospital in Birmingham, Alabama; a Federally-qualified community healthcare center in Miami-Dade County, Florida; a university-affiliated outpatient pharmacy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and a medical home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. People 18 years or older with previously diagnosed diabetes were offered free DR screening using non-mydriatic retinal photography that was preceded by a brief questionnaire addressing demographic information and previous eye care use. Visual acuity was also measured for each eye. Images were evaluated at a telemedicine reading center by trained evaluators using the National Health System DR grading classification. Participants and their physicians were sent screening report results and telephoned for a follow-up survey 3 months post-screening to determine whether participants had sought follow-up comprehensive eye care and their experiences with the screening process.Results: Target enrollment at each site was a minimum of 500 persons. Three of the four sites met this enrollment goal.Conclusion: The INSIGHT/DESS is intended to establish the feasibility and short-term effectiveness of DR screening using non-mydriatic retinal photography in persons with diabetes who seek services in community-based clinic and pharmacy settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-115
Number of pages7
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 3 2016



  • Diabetes
  • eye screening
  • methodology
  • study design
  • tele-ophthalmology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Ophthalmology

Cite this

Murchison, A. P., Friedman, D. S., Gower, E. W., Haller, J. A., Lam, B. L., Lee, D. J., Mcgwin, G., Owsley, C., & Saaddine, J. (2016). A multi-center diabetes eye screening study in community settings: Study design and methodology. Ophthalmic Epidemiology, 23(2), 109-115. https://doi.org/10.3109/09286586.2015.1099682