1Department of Community and Clinical Allied Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia 2The Northern Hospital, Northern Health, Melbourne, Australia
Aim: To determine the effectiveness of the orthoptist-led diabetic retinopathy screening clinic at Northern Health by investigating the diagnostic agreement between orthoptists and ophthalmologists.
Method: This study was a retrospective audit of 1,097 patients booked at the Northern Health orthoptist-led screening clinic. The demographic data and clinical assessment findings were recorded for the 101 included patients (192 eyes). The orthoptists’ diabetic retinopathy diagnoses were compared with those made by the ophthalmologists using a kappa analysis.
Results: Substantial agreement was observed between the orthoptists and ophthalmologists in relation to the diagnosis and detection of diabetic retinopathy (k = 0.660, p <0.001). Conclusions: Strong agreement was found between the orthoptists and ophthalmologists when detecting and diagnosing diabetic retinopathy for patients attending the Northern Health orthoptist-led clinic. This suggests that orthoptists are able to effectively detect and diagnose patients with diabetic retinopathy in a hospital outpatient setting and provide a high level of care.