CVD screening faces 'major barriers'
A national cardiovascular screening programme is set to go ahead even though the diabetes pilots it is modelled on fell short of expectations.
Diabetes screening was hampered by gaps in patient records that made it more difficult than anticipated to identify high-risk patients.
The principal investigator
on the pilots admitted the proportion of new cases detected – 1.4 per cent of patients screened – was lower than expected.
'A major barrier to screening was the inadequacy of clinical information for easily identifying high-risk individuals,' the researchers concluded. Their results are to be presented at next week's Diabetes UK conference.
Dr Elizabeth Goyder, clinical senior lecturer in public health at the University of Sheffield who led the evaluation, said: 'Despite all the hard work, it didn't pick up many extra cases compared with current practice. It may have been better to start with people at the highest risk who GPs were seeing anyway, instead of inviting people.'
Dr Goyder added that
screening would be feasible,
but there were 'an awful lot of things that would have to be in place' to make it work.
Dr Roger Gadsby, a GP in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, who is treasurer of the Primary Care Diabetes Society, said it was positive screening could be done without much GP input, but there were 'problems of encouraging people to be screened'.
Some 41,400 patients were invited to be screened, 25,356 attended and 358 new diabetes cases were detected.
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